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Treating damp heat w/kidney yin vacuity & overweight? Also, did epinephrine 'reset' me?


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!


While this is out of scope for acupuncturists your reaction to the epinephrine -could- have been related to your underlying thyroid condition (even if it was undiagnosed at the time). For hypothyroidism epinephrine in a dental setting doesn't appear to cause problems but for hyperthyroid patients it can create problems and is generally contraindicated in certain cases (particularly those that co-exist with cardiovascular issues such as atrial fibrillation) - again, however, this would be a better question for you dentist... In theory, from someone out of scope, the epinephrine could have created this reaction...

With regards to all of the other questions, what does your acupuncturist say (besides your diagnosis)? While you provide a reasonable history, I'm curious why you are asking here? Are you not getting the results you want? If so, what are you getting from treatment (i.e. what has changed and what hasn't)? And how long have you been undergoing treatment and how often?

With regards to weight loss, it seems like you have to lose about 30-40 pounds for your height. Do you currently have an exercise program and, if so, what is it? Also, are you hungry at all when you eat - or do you just eat out of habit?


you don't say anything about your ancenstral ethnic mix, but from the hints you've included, i'd guess that you have a lot of essentially viking or nordic lines. i would also gues that the information behind standardized american weight, cholesterol levels, and diet information has failed you miserably. it is far too shallow and politicially biased to take as anything more than current best guesses.

an example of the kind of problem i mean comes from the cholesterol broohaha. this is a tangent, but not irrelevant. i feel for the distress you've obviously lived with, maybe unnecessarily. always doing your best and doing the wrong thing for who you are. the only way i can think of to make my point is through this tangent.

the person who put all the original money behind research on today's approach to cholesterol was a businessman, not a scientist. by now so many careers and companies are dependent on the status quo that changing anything will be very hard. there are alternative, potentially valide, medical research and theories that have been excluded, and there are questions that the current theory and research completely ignores, especially in relation to women, ethnicity, and climate. also, research on non-human primates from the 1970s showed that reducing cholesterol tended to increase male violence for primates. and strangely enough we just happen to have this epidemic upswing of male violence that has followed the cholesterol hoopla in time. hmmm.

this is not to change your mind about cholesterol, just to say that you should be cautious about swallowing "scientific medicine" whole hog. science can be applied to medical activities and processes, but ain't no such thing as "scientific medicine." medicine is not a science. when really done right, it's an art. and all arts, fully engaged and done right, have the potential to help heal. now back to you and the artist who is trying to help you engage yourself as a hale, whole human.

to give both of you a broader base of information, try reading sharon moalem's book called survival of the sickest. it opened a lot for me. dr. moalem looks at current genetic and biological research and worldwide genetic disease patterns as well as how nutrients are metabolized and survival happens under various conditions. then he speculates from this information in relation to comparative human genetics and the conditions that shaped the gene pools of prehistoric humans. information from this book could possibly help you and your acupuncturist. you might also want to be consulting someone who reads research on cold-climate peoples.

there may be hints in this information about shifts that could lead to both better health and a more enjoyable life for you. some might indicate a mild shift in diet that you hadn't thought of. you might want to make sure your practitioner is following current research and techniques in both china and japan and that they have access to consultations either there or with experts here that trained and practiced there. or you might look around for a bright student and work through a clinic in a school for a while.

last fall, the combination of a third-year student with a bright, open still highly questioning mind and her clinical supervisors, added to the depth of my prior recovery, was what allowed us to finally get down under the initial assault on my digestive system when i was less than 6 weeks old. additional factors were that she is a chinese immigrant leaving a well-paid professional career in the u.s., had apprenticed with a specific acupuncturist before her formal schooling, and just come back from a summer of observations in japan. a recent immigrant from japan was training her in a massage technique during these treatments, and there was often a combination of the latest in japanese acupuncture and massage combined. with adjustments for my size and strength, the treated my aged body as if i were in part a baby and in part the old lady that i am.

their part worked. but it wouldn't have worked without my part. i treated myself like an invalid, rigorously laid myself flat and started with kanjee and chicken soup, ate only small amounts at a time, rested, and made sure that i never ever pushed. it took almost 6 months for me to even be able to clean house well without reversing the progress, and i still don't go walking yet. this took discipline and choice, but it's been worth it. i can feel that my body is finally beginning to throw off some of these deep problems that she's been carrying, some for over 60 years.

i'm not saying you should do this, only that you should take your treatment very seriously and follow through as if it were one of the most important things you could do. but the first step for me was learning to recognize and experience my bodily self, from the inside, as she is, apart from any external definition of how she should be or any given idea of what or how a human is. this is what you must do too. when the inside is doing well and happy, the outside is beautiful, no matter what the age or size. the same is true for me, for you and for anyone else.


i have tried to go through the comments and discripton of rthings. what i find missing is noticing relation of teeth and endocrine glands. rt&#39s discription gives dual ipression one of loosing weight and other gaining weight .check again your TSH. ifeel treating kidney and spleen(pancreas) in right way can solve both your problems. the obesity and thyroid. this iam cotemplating keeping in view your family history of diabetese(which seems noe due to deficient kidney,but exhausted panreas also check Liver).

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