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Deep cold, superficial heat


#1

Hello,
I am a student of Chinese medicine, still learning. I’ve been experiencing a deep cold sensation in my body with an aversion to cold; and heat sensations superficially that tend to come in flushes throughout my trunk originating at the kidney level. I’ve experienced kidney yin deficiency, diagnosed by a Chinese doctor, earlier this year. I’ve worked to build it back up and have made good progress. Yet, I’m curious why I feel this deep cold with superficial heat. I intensely crave hot foods like beef, red peppers, and cayenne. Although I’m not sure this would benefit my condition. My biggest discomfort is the aversion to cold. Any thoughts?


#2

Well let’s start with figuring out if your initial diagnosis was correct. What initial signs did you have to support the kidney yin deficiency diagnosis? When you say you’ve “worked to build it back up” - what specifically have you done and what has improved (in very specific terms)?

If you are truly averse to cold you don’t have kidney yin deficiency, or you have a very layered issues which would be unlikely for your age. But I’ll reserve any more comment until I have more information from the questions above.


#3

Hi Chad,

Thanks for your quick reply, I really appreciate your insights.
You and I had a short correspondence through this forum about six months ago. I don’t know how to tag a previous post into this one but it is titled “Excessive muscle burning”. I used the search engine and it popped right up.

Your thoughts were confirmed at my local Chinese medicine clinic (OCOM). Since then, I have been eating very often, including high quality foods and increased potassium. I have been taking time to rest more, stayed away from excessive physical activity, and have been taking a formula prescribed for me at OCOM.

My symptoms have greatly diminished. No unusual muscle burning during simple tasks, and the heat sensations are more “slight” now. I only experience the superficial heat that is still wavy and feels like flushing, but it’s not very bothersome anymore.

The cold, I can feel, starts around my kidneys and extends to the rest of my upper body including chest, neck, head and arms. By deep, I mean that my bones feel cold. The heat is maybe at the muscle layer or more superficial.


#4

When you say “been taking a formula” - what is in it and in what doses? Further, if you are being prescribed a formula, what does your current practitioner think is the issue? have they adjusted your formula to try to compensate for the cold sensations? If so, what exactly did they change?


#5

Generally speaking feeling cold involves a deficiency of yang energy. It can be because the actual total level of yang energy is itself low, or it can be because the flow of the yang energy to an area is blocked. Again this is very general but there is a condition of cold interior hot exterior that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with kidney yin or yang. For example liver qi stagnation can block the flow of qi, which in a chronic condition can lead to the separation of yin and yang energies. This separation can manifest as top/bottom, inside/outside, left/right, or some crazy combination of all three axis.

Academically you can also consider other systems of diagnosis other than just Zhang Fu. So from the extra meridians the circulation of the ren (CV) and du (GV) are also an important factor in the circulation of yin and yang energies. The Yang Qiao also has a role in regulating the circulation of yang. From six channel theory the Shao Yang channels are also very much involved in the circulation between the interior and the exterior.


#6

Chad,

I thought you’d ask for the formula. What I meant was I had been taking it early on, but not for about a month. I haven’t gone to see the practitioner with these new symptoms. Just wondering what it might be, to see what may be going on as I constantly note and explore my lifestyle and diet in relation to what I may be experiencing physically.

I understand you need a lot of information to guide your thoughts properly, and I appreciate that.


#7

Stephen,

Thank you for that very interesting information. Some of it may make sense for my lifestyle currently, and according to what I know has been the case for me previously.
Harmonizing seems to be the key to all of that, since the symptoms seem contradictory.

Thank you again.

-Paul


#8

Hi Paul

As well as the excellent advice from Chuck and Stephen I would add that having a regular practitioner that you trust and respect is a good place to be. Describing symptoms on paper is never going to replace a good TCM diagnosis with the patient present. These conditions can have different causes e.g. a pathogen trapped at the ShaoYang stage, and as you are a keen student of Chinese medicine and a very inquisitive one, I would find the right practitioner for you if you have not already done so. Good luck with your condition aad your studies.


#9

Chad,

I thought you’d ask for the formula. What I meant was I had been taking it early on, but not for about a month. I haven’t gone to see the practitioner with these new symptoms. Just wondering what it might be, to see what may be going on as I constantly note and explore my lifestyle and diet in relation to what I may be experiencing physically.

I understand you need a lot of information to guide your thoughts properly, and I appreciate that.

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