Heat in the Blood

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At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 血热      Pinyin name: Xuè Rè

Pattern nature: Full

Pattern hierarchy: General pattern with specific forms like Heat in Uterus Blood

Causes

Precursor patterns: Blood Stagnation Yin Deficiency Liver Fire Blazing and three other possible precursors

Common causes: 1. Emotional stress, 2. Diet, 3. External Heat

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Thirst Bloody nose Bloody urine Bloody sputum Bloody stools and six other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue description: Red tongue

Treatment

Treatment principle: Clear Heat from the Blood, nourish Yin, supply Body Fluids.

Common formulas: Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Pathology

The most common cause of Heat in the Blood is a Heat Pernicious Influence that has invaded the body and agitates the Blood. This results in accelerated blood flow which manifests itself in a rapid pulse, expanded and damaged Blood vessels and often heavy bleeding. The Blood will be fresh red or dark colored. 

Note that bleeding episodes aren't always a sign of Blood Heat: it can also be caused by the Qi unable to hold the Blood in its pathways. The Blood will be pale in this case, with prolonged bleeding and heavy loss of Blood.

Blood Stagnation can also cause Heat in the Blood and consequent bleeding. The Blood in this case will be very dark colored with clots.

As usual the symptoms differ somewhat based on which Organs are affected. The most commonly affected Organs for Heat in the Blood are the Heart, the Liver, the Uterus and the Intestines

If the Heart is affected by Heat in the Blood, this will result in a range of emotional symptoms since Heart houses the Mind (Shen). In that case patients will feel anxious, restless and may suffer from insomnia.

If the Liver is most affected by Blood Heat, then symptoms will tend to be skin-related: patients will feel itchiness and will see read skin eruptions appear.

If Blood Heat affects the Uterus and the Penetrating Vessel, patients can suffer exceedingly heavy periods.

Lastly if Blood Heat affects the Intestines, there will be Blood in the stools.

Causes

Precursor patterns: Heat in the Blood can derive from Blood Stagnation Yin Deficiency Liver Fire Blazing Heat in Pericardium Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized Kidney and Lung Yin Deficiency

Emotional stress: Long term emotional stress such as anger, frustration and resentment, or a sudden emotional upset can lead to Liver Qi stagnation. It can agitate the Blood and cause excessive Heat in the Blood.

Diet: Excessive consumption of spicy & hot food or alcohol can cause this pattern.

External Heat: Overexposure to hot environment can also cause Heat in the Blood.

Diagnosing Heat in the Blood

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue description: Red tongue

Main symptoms: Thirst Bloody nose Bloody urine Bloody sputum Bloody stools Heavy periods Cough of blood Feeling of heat Vomiting of blood Red skin eruptions Frequent bleeding episodes

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the feeling of feat, red skin eruptions, thirst and Blood in stools, urine, sputum and etc.

Treating Heat in the Blood

Treatment principle

Clear Heat from the Blood, nourish Yin, supply Body Fluids. 

Herbal formulas used to treat Heat in the Blood

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Formula summary

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear nutritive-level Heat.

Besides Heat in the Blood, Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang is also used to treat Toxic-Heat or Heat victorious agitating Blood.

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Related conditions

Heavy menstruation Abnormal uterine bleeding Early menstruation Hepatitis Allergic purpura Acute leukemia Uremia Hepatic coma Septicemia Boils Acute hemorrhages

Special highlight: the link between early menstruation and Heat in the Blood

Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi) is the key herb for Qing Jing San, a formula used for early menstruation caused by Heat in the Blood

When early menstruation is caused by Heat in the Blood, the excessive Heat agitates the Blood and it leaks out of the vessels and therefore, periods come before the right time. There are two types of Blood Heat: Full or Empty. 

Full Heat in Blood has two sub-patterns: external 'Heat/Fire Evil invasion' or 'Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire".

For the first one, living or working in a hot environment may accumulate Heat in the body. Also, excessive amount of hot-spicy foods or alcohol can also...Read more about early menstruation

Special highlight: the link between abnormal uterine bleeding and Heat in the Blood

Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi) is the key herb for Qing Jing San, a formula used for abnormal uterine bleeding caused by Heat in the Blood

There are two types of Heat in the Blood that cause abnormal uterine bleeding: Full or Empty. Full Heat in the Blood often derives from Liver Fire or an external Heat Evil invasion, while the Empty type is mainly due to a prolonged lack of Yin which is a naturally cooling, its absence therefore leading to Heat.

The typical symptoms of the Full Heat type are heavy menstruations as well as a dark or bright red blood color. It can lead to sudden flooding before the periods and/or a trickling of...Read more about abnormal uterine bleeding

Consequence patterns

Blood Stagnation

The Heat can condense the Blood and make it stagnated. 

Loss of Blood

This is an Excess case. The Heat makes the Blood reckless and leak out of the vessels. The Blood is fresh red or dark and the quantity is often profuse.