Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Menstrual Conditions/Irregularities- Amenorrhea - Blood and Qi Deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective

Amenorrhea is defined as a health condition of absence of period
1. Primary amenrrhea Women who are at age 18, but for what ever reason have never menstruated or
2. Secondary amenrrhea is defined as period beginning at the appropriate age, but later stops for more than 3 cycles.Traditional Chinese medicine classifies amenorrhea according the deficiency or excess pattern of three main organs, kidney, spleen and liver in the women body. Here are 4 common patterns causes of amenorrhea, Kidney Deficiency, Blood and qi deficiency, Qi Stagnation and Blood Stasis, Phlegm Dampness Retention.

Remember, in TCM, Difference diseases with same treatment and same disease with different treatments is very common and nothing to alarm about.

Blood and qi deficiency
1. Qi deficiency is defined as condition in the body do not have enough energy to perform its function to nourish the body organ and cells that can lead to blood stasis, fluid retention, etc.
2. Blood deficiency is defined condition in which spleen no longer be able to transform nutrients absorbed from foods after entering the stomach, affecting liver in blood formation and heart in blood circulation.

As we mention in previous article, liver is important for blood formation and spleen for blood circulation, for what ever reason, women with Amenorrhea are found to have sluggish liver function during menstruation, leading to the inability of liver in making enough blood for our body, leaving no blood for menstruation.

1. Weakness and lack of strength
Weakness or lack of strength, during menstrual cycle may be due kidney yang deficiency or spleen inability to transport oxygen and nutrients to the body cells as resulting of blockage of qi in some meridians.

2. Pale tongue with white and thin fur
If there are not enough blood circulated in the body, the first thing is reflected in the tongue according TCM. Pale tongue is due to over consumption of raw food, cool or cold foods and drink, leading to kidney yang deficiency and affecting liver function in blood formation, resulting in pale tongue.

3. Weak pulse
Weak pulse may be caused by insufficient blood or slow blood movement in the circulatory system due to blockage of qi or blood stasis in certain organs, leading to not enough blood to the reproductive organs to sustain a healthy menstruation.


Causes and risk factors
1. Hot food
As the foods entering our stomach, they are divided to 2 components, qi and materials. prolonged intake of hot food causes dryness in the stomach and deplete the fluid of the spleen, leading to abnormal function of the circulatory system in moving qi and liver function in blood formation, resulting in deficiency of qi and blood for a normal menstruation

2. Unhealthy diet
A typical American diet is yang in nature, intake of high amount of unsaturated fat and tran fat encourage the rise to the excessive yang pathogen that blocks the liver function in blood storing and spleen function in assisting lung in qi transportation.

3. Alcohol drinking
Excessive alcohol drinking damages the liver function in blood formation and blood storing as well as interfering with spleen function in qi transportation, leading qi and blood deficiency.

4. Environment toxins
Environment toxins not only affects the respiratory function in qi transportation, but also causes toxins accumulated in the liver that distort the qi and blood flow, leading to qi and blood deficiency and disturbing the normal process of menstrual cycle.

5. Spleen deficiency
Spleen is the organ which helps to absorb the food qi after entering the stomach, spleen deficiency caused by what ever reason, may obstruct the normal function of qi to the lung and liver, giving rise to qi and blood deficiency.

6. Etc.

Blood and qi deficiency in Amenorrhea can be defined as a vague pain in the lower abdomen It caused by the liver's inability in blood formation, and/or the kidney and lung qi's inability to transport blood to the heart.

1. He shou wu (fleeceflower root)
He shou wu is a liver tonic herb. It promotes liver function in blood formation and increases the kidney qi in assisting the liver in transporting blood to the heart for circulation, thereby reducing the blood stagnation causes of deficiency. It also improves the kidney in urinary secretion, thus decreasing the risk of blood stagnation caused by fluid retention.

2. Shu Di Huang (Chinese foxglove root)
Shu di huang is a blood tonic herb. Besides improving the liver in blood formation, it also increases the liver's qi by boosting the circulatory system in transporting oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells thus reducing the risks of symptoms of dizziness, pallid complexion, palpitations, and scanty menstruation.

3. E Jiao (Donkey-Hide Glue)
E jiao is an important herb for improving the liver in blood formation and liver qi in regulating the blood circulation in the body thereby reducing the symptoms of dizziness, shallow complexion, and palpitations caused by blood deficiency.

4. Dang gui (Chinese angelica root)
Dang gui is best known for improving the liver's function in blood formation and regulating the function of the reproductive organs. It also harmonizes the production of hormones during the menstrual cycle, leading to reduced cramps and pain caused by blood deficiency and stagnation.

5. Bai shao (white peony root)
Bai shao plays an important role in nourishing the blood and regulating menstrual problems caused by blood deficiency. It also harmonizes the liver and spleen to prevent the rising of blood heat causes of headache and dizziness.

There are many more Chinese herbs that help to treat blood deficiency, make sure to work with your Chinese practitioner to find the underlining causes and to treat them effectively.

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