Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 肾阳虚 水湿上泛      Pinyin name: Shèn Yáng Xū Shuǐ Shī Shàng Fàn

Pattern nature: Full/Empty combined pattern

Pattern(s) it combines from: Kidney Yang Deficiency

Causes

Precursor patterns: Kidney Yang Deficiency Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm Heart Yang Deficiency and two other possible precursors

Common causes: 1. Excessive consumption of cold and raw foods, 2. Excessive physical work, 3. Excessive sexual activity, 4. Poor hereditary constitution, 5. Chronic illness

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Asthma Coughing Cold hands Palpitations Breathlessness and seven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue description: Pale, Swollen and wet with a white coating.

Treatment

Treatment principle: Tonify and warm the Kidneys, transform Water and warm and tonify Spleen-Yang. If Water overflows to the Heart or Lungs, warm and tonify Heart Yang or Lung Qi respectively.

Common formulas: Wu Ling San

Pathology

This pattern is a severe case of Kidney Yang Deficiency and necessarily a very chronic condition. This is both a Deficiency and Excess pattern, the Excess part being the accumulation of Fluids.

It occurs when Kidney Yang fails to transform Body Fluids (since the Kidneys "rule Water") which accumulate under the skin to form edema. It also often cause water retention in other Organs, particularly the Heart and Lungs.

If it affects the Heart the patient will also have symptoms of palpitations and cold hands. If it affects the Lungs, symptoms will include coughing with a thin watery frothy sputum, which is indicative of the presence of Phlegm-Fluids formation.

Causes

Precursor patterns: Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing can derive from Kidney Yang Deficiency Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm Heart Yang Deficiency Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs

Excessive consumption of cold and raw foods: Excessive consumption of cold and raw foods may weaken Kidney Yang. Kidney depleting substances such as alcohol, coffee or sugar can also be factors.

Excessive physical work: Excessive physical work or exercise - especially lifting things - weakens Kidney Yang.

Excessive sexual activity: Excessive sexual activity in men, particularly masturbation, weakens Kidney Yang.

Poor hereditary constitution: Because they're the source of Essence, the Kidneys are particularly affected by hereditary weakness

Chronic illness: A chronic illness, especially if it leads to Spleen Yang Deficiency, can over a long period of time lead to Kidney Yang Deficiency

Diagnosing Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or weak (Ruo)

Tongue description: Pale, Swollen and wet with a white coating.

Main symptoms: Asthma Coughing Cold hands Palpitations Breathlessness Feeling of cold Scanty clear urination White and watery sputum Soreness of the lower back Abdominal distention and fullness Cold feeling in the legs and the back Oedema especially of the legs and ankles

Diagnosis commentary: Edema of the ankles, breathlessness, Deep-Weak-Slow pulse and Pale-Swollen tongue are enough in and of themselves to diagnose this pattern. Palpitations and cold hands only appear if Water also overflows to the Heart. The thin watery frothy sputum, coughing and asthma only appear as symptoms if Water also overflows to the Lungs.

Treating Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing

Treatment principle

Tonify and warm the Kidneys, transform Water and warm and tonify Spleen-Yang. If Water overflows to the Heart or Lungs, warm and tonify Heart Yang or Lung Qi respectively.

Herbal formulas used to treat Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing

Wu Ling San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination,. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Promotes Qi transformation function. Drains Dampness. Clears edema.

Formula summary

Wu Ling San is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote urination and leach out Dampness.

Besides Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing, Wu Ling San is also used to treat Yin Excess or Greater Yang Accumulation of Water.

Read more about Wu Ling San

Diet recommendations

Eat a balanced diet composed only of cooked foods and those with a warm energy such as whole grains, vegetables (especially adzuki beans) and meat (especially lamb, beef and pork).

Avoid excessive sexual activity and exposure to cold.