Thursday, August 4, 2011

Menstrual Conditions/Irregularities - Amenorrhea - Phlegm Dampness Retention in Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective

Amenorrhea is defined as a health condition of absence of period
1. Primary amenorrhea Women who are at age 18, but for what ever reason have never menstruated or
2. Secondary amenorrhea 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.
In TCM, amenorrhea can be caused by kidneys inability to move fluid to nourish the body, leading to fluid retention in the reproductive organs. Prolonged period of dampness accumulation can cause the generation of heat that can lead to Phlegm dampness retention.

Symptoms
1. Feeling of fullness and congestion
2. Profuse vaginal discharge
3. Sticky phlegm in the mouth
4. Palpitations
5. Dizziness
6. Pale complexion
7. Yellow-white-sticky tongue coating
8. Thin-slippery pulse
9. Etc.

Causes and risk factors
1. Kidney deficiency
a. Kidney qi deficiency
Kidney is important to distribute the fluid and moister the body, including the essential organs and every cells in the body. If you are experience kidney yang deficiency, your kidney now is unable to the move the fluid efficiently, leading to dampness accumulation in the abdomen region. If accumulated dampness is left untreated over period of time, it causes the rising heat that cooks the dampness to phlegm.
b. Kidney yin deficiency
Kidney yin deficiency is the inability to receive and move fluid to the body. It may be caused depletion of kidney Jing, old age, frequent sexual activity, prolonged intake of hot and spy fluid.

2. Lung qi deficiency
The main function of lung is to received qi from the spleen after accumulated from the qi of the foods. If the lung is damage or no longer function to move the fluid up ward, it can cause the same reasons mentioned above, leading to phlegm dampness cause of amenorrhea.

3. Spleen qi deficiency
The function of spleen is responsible to absorb the food qi and nutrient after the foods entering to the body. If spleen qi is weaken, it affects the function of kidney in fluid distribution and lung qi to move the fluid upward, leading to dampness accumulation in the abdomen region, resulting of dampness phlegm.

4. Poor diet
Prolonged intake of foods such as dairy, greasy, oily, fatty, sweet, cold, raw, etc., can affect the spllen function in food absorption and qi and nutrient distribution.

5. Etc.

Treatments
Treatment is to strengthen the kidney function to revolve the problems of fluid retention, if the the sullen have contrition to its function properly in absorbing food qi and nutrients, depending to differentiation. Life style change is always necessary.
A. Kidney yin deficiency
1. Chinese angelica roots (Dong qui)
It is one of most effective blood tonic herb. Whenever there are qi deficiency, it also causes blood deficiency.

2. Rehmannia glutinosa (Shu di huang)
It is one of the good herb for tonifying blood, nourishing yin and blood and enriching kidney essence.

3. Ligustrum lucidum (Nu zhen zi)
Nu zhen zi is good for liver and kidney tonification and clearing heat due to yin deficiency.

4. Morus Albus (Sang shen)
The herbs is most used in nourishing yin, tonifying blood and promoting the generation of body fluids.

B. Qi deficiency (including spleen, lung and kidney)
1. Ren shen (Ginseng)
is considered as one of most powerful herbs in strengthening the original qi in the body. a) In spleen, it improves the spleen function in qi absorption, thus reducing the symptoms of distended chest and abdomen cramps and pain.
In lung, it enhances the lung qi by moistening the channels, thus reducing the symptoms of asthma, dry cough and preventing the rebellion qi causes of menstrual cramps and pain.

2. Xi yang shen (American ginseng)
Xi yang shen is yin in nature, besides promoting the lung and spleen qi, it also increases the digestive system in absorbing vital energy and reducing the heat causes of qi stagnation by moistening the all qi transportation channels, especially for qi stagnation caused by deficiency of yin.

3. Dang shen (pilose asiabell root)
Dang shen is a spleen and lung tonic herbs. It improves the lung function in moving qi smoothly through its channels and spleen function in absorbing qi after foods entering the stomach. It also helps to restore the qi which is damaged by heat caused by infection, inflammation or heat generated due to excessive fluids accumulation.

4. Tai zi shen (pseudostellaria root)
Besides helping to increase the spleen and lung qi, it also improve the blood transportation and spleen and stomach in absorbing vital energy for our body cells and generates fluids to prevent the heat causes of qi stagnation.

5. Huang qi (astragalus root)
It is one of the herb that helps to increase the function of liver in generating more blood and liver qi in blood transportation.

C. Damp heat
1. Long dan cao (Gentian)
Besides it is used to treat liver heat caused by dampness accumulation due to spleen' inability in materials absorption, It also enhances the liver and the gallbladder function in draining damp heat in the body through kidney urinary secretion.

2. Huang qin (Scullcap)
Huang qin is important to enhance the lung function by moistening the qi, thus reducing the risk of fever, irritability, thirst, cough. It also improves the stomach function in absorbing vital vitamins and minerals by clearing the heat caused extreme dampness that causes diarrhea and thirst with no desire to drink.

3. Zhi zi (Gardenia)
It improves the circulatory function by clearing the liver heat due to constrained liver and heat caused by infection or inflammation as a result of fluids accumulated in body for a prolong period of time.

4. Mu tong (Akebia)
Mu tong besides increases the kidney in clearing dampness through urinary secretion, it also enhances the blood function by draining the blood heat caused by blood stagnation.

5. Che qian cao (Plaintain root)
Che qian cao has a vital function by eliminating the toxin accumulated in the body and promoting damp heat expelling through urinary secretion.

6. Chai hu (Buplerum)
Chai hu enhances the spleen and stomach in qi and materials digestion, thereby reducing damp heat in the abdominal region caused by liver blood stagnation, resulting in lessening the menstrual cramps and pain and pain caused lung qi stagnation due to spleen abnormal function in qi transportation.

7. Etc.

Although the generation of phlegm in amenorrhea due to accumulation of fluid retention, some Chinese doctor may prescribe certain herbs to resolve the phlegm problem if amenorrhea is caused by obstruction of lung qi with symptoms of coughing, asthmatic breathing, and expectoration of sputum. Herbs to expel the phlegm include citrus (chen pi), aurantium (ju pi), chih-shih (zhi shi), or blue citrus (qing pi).

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