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TCM view on kidney donation and fatigue issues


Hi, everybody.

I am deeply interested in your view towards kidney donation and TCM.

I gave a kidney to a relative three years ago and since then I am struggling with serious fatigue issues, energy problems, concentration problems and a lot less power in daily life as before. I found out that this seems to happen on a regular basis to kidney donors. It made me loose my job. Now working just a little, with a huge amount of free time I am doing quite okay. But still it affects daily life as energy is gone.
I do sports, as much as I can, but it is maybe 40% of what I could do before. And if I do too much (which is now too much, used to be totally okay) my body is totally exhausted (instead of feeling fit after sports) and often needs one or two days of complete rest, which really means staying in bed for whole days.

I am having headaches once or twice a week. Before it was just after not drinking enough. Muscles get sore a lo quicker. And they get tight too quickly as well.
I feel cold a lot quicker. Wear hats even inside. I gain weight. If I forget a meal, my body shows signs of exhaustion a lot quicker than it ever did. So I have to eat on a regular basis. No fasting anymore possible.

Kidney function is reduced, of course, one kidney is missing. Officially it would be CKD staging 2 or 3. But "modern" medicin says: you can live a normal life with one kidney.
With me, that is not true. And I am deeply interested in two things:

a) how can I improve my symptoms TCM wise?

b) as far as I know is the kidney in TCM somehow energy anyway. So these symptoms would totally make sense to me. But how do you view this? What is your thinking?

Thank you so much for your help!!!


Treatment for a kidney donor?

Well it is important to make the distinction that when Chinese Medicine talks about the "Kidneys" or the "Liver", etc. they are really not talking about the physical organs. They are referring to a system which is inter-related with the physical organ but very far from the physical organ exclusively. You may want to read my article entitled "My Kidneys are What?" - it explains much of this.

When we lose organs through surgery, donation, etc. there is going to be an effect on the body. That said, the body has many fall back options and generally works around the issue. The truth is no one really knows the implications of this, from a western perspective things seem to work themselves out and life is lead fairly normal with one kidney or no gall bladder or a partial liver, etc.

You do appear to have some signs of deficiency - most likely kidney qi/yang deficiency with the cold signs - but there is a lot that goes into a diagnosis like that from a Chinese perspective. Given the relative complelxity of the case, I strongly recommend that you consult with a practitioner locally in your area. Fatigue is not a simple symptom in Chinese Medicine and our general western mind-set is to use herbal medicine to add energy into our system - this, with some of the underlying causes from a Chinese Medicine perspective, can make you much worse actually. So a proper diagnosis is key.

I have little doubt that a practitioner will be able to help you.


In west medicine theory, the kidney is no deficinecy pattern, so one kidney&#39s function is enough to support body&#39s need. But in chinese medicine theory, left side is "kidney", right side is "life gate", left side is water, right side is fire, they are control body water and fire balance function. So that is why your body feel cold and energy unbalance. In TCM there are two meridians of Kidney, so you better practice Qi Gong Dao Yin to make kidney&#39s 2 meridians&#39s Qi move in balance situation.

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