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70 y.o. woman with persistent diarrhea & other heat symptoms


Hi, I’m 72 y.o. woman. I’ve had diarrhea off and on for about a year which started when I was seeing an acupuncturist who was detoxing me. I had to stop treatment when we moved away. Since then it’s increased in frequency and severity. I’ve cut out gluten, dairy, spicy food. My skin has been very dry for about 30 years, I was typically constipated, and I now have eczema and my eyes are dry. I am very heat sensitive.

I eat really well, exercise and meditate daily, and love my husband (who loves me!) so stress is no longer high although it was for many years.

So I’d say I need to clear heat but am not at all sure how to go about it. If you could please help that would be great. Thank you so much!



I’m generally leery of the term “detox”. While it can be argued that there is such a thing, I think the concept is largely overstated when you look at how the body actually functions. But, to provide help to you I would ask you to clarify what your previous practitioner was doing to “detox” you?

There should rarely, if ever, be a process of “worse before it gets better” - this, I feel is an excuse for someone providing the wrong treatment to you.

At 72 it is extremely unlikely that you have what we would call a full-heat or excess condition - it is more likely given your history as described, your age, and other factors that you are either blood deficient and/or yin deficient. Treatment that would clear full heat would very likely make you worse and that might have been what was happening before.

I would suggest you find a practitioner in your area - ideally one who practices Chinese herbal medicine and tuina (Chinese medical massage) along with acupuncture - it’s an admitted bias of mine, but I feel those folks on average are better rounded practitioners.



Hello Chad, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I am so very glad to read what you say about blood/yin deficiency as opposed to heat and yes, I have been diagnosed with that before. The acupuncturist I was seeing most recently was, I believe, quite skilled as he was able to make significant progress with my husband who had collapse of chi. and I may well be incorrect with my belief he was detoxing me … please forgive my preconceptions! We moved shortly after I developed diarrhea.

We are now in Enterprise, AL where very little is known about alternative modalities, let alone acupuncture/herbs. I looked up your location and you’re too far for us to go, I’m sorry to say. But your saying I am blood and/or yin deficient tells me, at lest, not to clear heat (!) and to spend time building myself up. Just this morning my husband and I considered that the cause of my diarrhea may be my change over the past 2 years from totally uptight/negative/depressed/constipated to relaxed and happy … my intestines need tonifying as well. I’m cutting out everything irritating and doing my best in an area that has very little good medical help.

So THANK YOU for your reply. I ill go about this entirely differently as a result of your kind advice.

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