Prostatitis is the inflammation or infection of the prostate gland. It can be acute or chronic, with the former being typically caused by bacterial infections and the latter often not having a clear cause. In Chinese medicine, the prostate is considered to be part of the Kidney organ system and is influenced by the Liver and Spleen as well. Prostatitis is seen as overlapping with certain Chinese medical disorders, such as heat painful urination in the case of acute prostatitis and white turbidity, white discharge, turbid essence, and exhaustion painful urination in the case of chronic prostatitis.
If damp-heat gains access to the lower burner, it can do so through the Bladder channel, the leg yin channels, or the local collaterals. These small branches of the major channels spread through the genitourinary system and can allow infection to spread during sexual intercourse. A preexisting weakness in the Kidney makes it more likely for a damp-heat pathogen to invade the lower burner.
The emotional and psychological stress that can affect the circulation of qi in the liver can lead to prostate and pelvic problems. This is because the liver channel passes through the lower burner, and disruption to the flow of liver qi can inhibit the movement of qi in the lower burner. In addition, local disruptions to qi flow in the pelvic area and imbalances between the liver and spleen can create the conditions necessary for damp-heat or blood stasis to accumulate. When qi is constantly constrained, it can generate heat or fire that can congeal dampness into damp-heat. This dampness may be the result of the liver invading the spleen. The combination of these pathologies, known as the primary pathological triad, is a significant factor in many cases of persistent or recurring prostate problems.
Damp-heat in the middle burner, caused by poor dietary habits, can lead to the development of acute prostatitis. This is often seen in chronic patterns where unhealthy dietary habits persist. When damp-heat sinks into the lower burner, it can deplete Kidney yin. Additionally, consuming excessive cold or raw food can weaken Spleen qi and yang, leading to dampness that can also settle in the lower burner and contribute to the damp-heat cycle. Prolonged Spleen deficiency can also drain the Kidneys.
The spleen and kidneys are vital organs in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and their health is believed to play a crucial role in maintaining overall wellbeing. Overwork, excessive worry or mental activity, and prolonged illness can all weaken the spleen and kidney qi, creating a vulnerability that can be exploited by an invading damp-heat pathogen.
Weak kidney yang qi can be inherited or may develop as a result of various factors, such as aging, chronic illness, excessive exposure to cold conditions, and excessive physical activity or sexual activity. In some cases, particularly in younger individuals, kidney qi may be weakened while kidney yang remains intact, leading to the absence of cold symptoms.
Kidney yin, on the other hand, can be damaged by chronic damp-heat in the lower burner, febrile disease, overwork (especially while under stress), insufficient sleep, the use of stimulant drugs, aging, and excessive sexual activity.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the formation of small calculi or sand-like gravel in the prostate may be attributed to chronic damp-heat and/or Kidney yin deficiency. This type of damp-heat is often related to diet, with the heat aspect gradually solidifying the dampness into a hard lump, known as a calculus. In cases of Kidney yin deficiency, fluids may be thickened by the combined effects of heat from deficiency and the depletion of their yin portion, eventually congealing into stones.
Acute prostatitis is a type of inflammation of the prostate gland that is typically caused by bacterial infection. It is often treated with aggressive and focused medical treatment, such as antibiotics, in order to prevent it from becoming chronic. If treatment is successful, people typically start feeling better within a couple of weeks.
Chronic prostatitis, on the other hand, is a more difficult condition to treat because the underlying cause is not always clear and the symptoms tend to come and go. In some cases, chronic prostatitis may be caused by a bacterial infection that has not been fully eradicated, while in others it may be caused by other factors such as chronic inflammation or nerve damage. Treatment for chronic prostatitis may involve a combination of medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes, and may need to be continued for several months in order to be effective. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct underlying problems that are contributing to the condition.
One important aspect of treating chronic prostatitis is physical manipulation of the prostate gland, such as through prostatic massage or ejaculation. This can help to clear the gland of any blockages or obstructions, and may improve symptoms. Acupuncture and herbal remedies may also be useful in some cases. In general, people with chronic prostatitis should work closely with their healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs.