Hi. First, I'm seeking theory for what may have happened, in TCM terms, when my system abruptly changed a few years ago for a few months and I was suddenly able to lose weight. Second, would be interested in views of practical approaches to treating kidney yin vacuity with resistant damp heat and overweight.
My full history is below.
But for the first question: Why in theory would exposure to an epinephrine rush (from dental numbing injections), with subsequent drastic fatigue for a few days, then result in a couple weeks of great energy and rapid shedding of excess fat, the loss of which lasted a matter of months before returning? (And how would that inform your approach to treatment)
For the second question: It's years later, current acupuncture practitioner is - for fertility - treating me for resistant damp heat (and resistant overweight) with kidney yin vacuity. What would your approach be with this diagnosis - to improve health and in the process try to budge the weight down eventually?
Thanks. Here's the extensive history:
I've had a lifelong weight problem, was only able to lose weight as a teen by cutting back drastically on calories and carbs and staying on a diet that other people would vanish on. (Lesser cutbacks and exercise did nothing over long periods.) At this time my cholesterol went high (on a very low fat diet). With this and plenty of aerobic exercise I was able to maintain my weight into my 20s, and raising calories to 1200-1300 a day (still not a lot of carbs) I slowly gained weight, and that accelerated in my 30s. Midway in there I started taking thyroid hormone. I raised my calories to 1400-1500 a day and have been able to maintain with lesser exercise at a higher weight. These days, in my 40s, I'm 5'3" and about 180 lbs. I average around 100 carbs a day and still the same calorie range.
My birth mother was a type II diabetic as were many in her family, and died in her 50s from it. I've never in my adult life had the carb intake that a typical American diet has, and have had one doc suggest that is likely the reason I'm not diabetic now - I tend to concur. A couple other anomalies are that when I had a glucose tolerance test in the 1990s, I had a weird pattern that I could only find in one test book associated with pituitary source: Upon drinking the sweet drink at the start of the test, my blood sugar went up to the normal expected high, and then declined to the normal expected baseline. Except the decline was not over several hours as is supposed to happen, but in the first 15-30 minutes (straight up, straight down), indicating blood sugar being removed at a very rapid rate... indicating action of insulin. (I was on a low carb diet at the time surrounding the test though.) The other oddity is that I test borderline low in estrogen and have for years (no androgenic features though). I've had fat collect around my thighs, waist is relatively slim, quite a bit of accumulation of fat or edema on the back that seems to change from morning to night.
I'm currently undergoing fertility acupuncture treatments and the practitioner has found a low, weak pulse, tongue coat indicating damp heat (with red tip), and the attempt at raising kidney yang set off a cascade of faint flashes and heat and dryness, so the practitioner is now working on the theory of lots of resistant, damp heat with kidney yin vacuity (as well as kidney yang deficiency but needing to address the other two issues first or more greatly to avoid problems).
I sleep well and don't wake up in the middle of the night, hate getting up early in the morning, feel best in the evening, don't get really hungry, love a cool, damp climate - especially thunderstorms - but not cold, am pale/ruddy. Sometimes (lifelong) if I'm really fatigued a rare steak or medium-rare hamburger gives me instant energy that nothing else does. I feel like I benefit a lot from acupuncture and also massage or energy work to get things moving ... there's a possibility some of that's tied to the practitioner's qi! (Well, seems like it anyway.)
I've had two unusual periods of effortless weight loss that did not seem to relate at all to calorie or carb intake, just that the weight loss switch turned on and I felt great: Once for a couple months while taking phentermine (which is speedy and I believe works with the epinephrine system etc.) The other after having dental work in which they had to give me massive amounts of numbing injections (I clear that fast) that have epinephrine in the shots. Once back home my adrenals essentially crashed for a few days and I could barely get off the couch as if just wiped out of power, my facial skin shed as if I'd had a strong acid peel (presumably peripheral blood flow was that impacted), and after thew few days of wipe-out I started losing about a pound a day or every other, until I'd lost about 15 lbs. and felt great with lots of energy. That stayed off two or three months then crept back on up to my prior weight before the loss.
As to current diet, the low fat aspect was only very early on. Since then I get adequate healthy fats but keep carbs - especially any processed ones - modest. Not a junky diet at all, still 1300-1500 calories a day.
I've read a lot of studies and several TCM books.
OK, that's all I can think of!