Spleen Blood Deficiency

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At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 脾血虚      Pinyin name: Pí Xuè Xū

Pattern nature: Empty

Pattern hierarchy: Specific pattern under Blood Deficiency

Common combinations: Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency

Causes

Precursor patterns: Liver Blood Deficiency Spleen Qi Deficiency Spleen Yang Deficiency and three other possible precursors

Common causes: 1. Diet lacking in Blood-nourishing foods, 2. Emotional stress, 3. Damp environment

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Fatigue Insomnia Lassitude Thin body Weak Limbs and seven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale, Thin and slightly dry

Treatment

Treatment principle: Tonify Spleen Qi, nourish Blood.

Common formulas: Gui Pi Tang

Pathology

"Spleen Blood Deficiency" is often excluded as a pattern from the literature because it's technically Spleen Qi Deficiency that leads to Blood Deficiency

As such it presents all the symptoms of of Spleen Qi Deficiency such as poor appetite, slight abdominal distension after eating, fatigue, lassitude, dull-pale complexion, weakness of the limbs and loose stools. On top of those, there are symptoms of Blood Deficiency such as scanty or no periods, a thin tongue and a Choppy or Fine pulse.

There is some depression and insomnia as the Blood Deficiency may affect the Heart (where the Mind resides).

Also a key difference from pure Spleen Qi Deficiency is that the body is likely to be thin due to the Blood Deficiency as opposed to tending to obesity in Spleen Qi Deficiency alone.

Causes

Precursor patterns: Spleen Blood Deficiency can derive from Liver Blood Deficiency Spleen Qi Deficiency Spleen Yang Deficiency Heart Blood Deficiency Lung Qi Deficiency Spleen Qi Sinking

Diet lacking in Blood-nourishing foods: Blood-nourishing foods are mainly grains and meats. A diet that lacks those leads to Spleen Blood Deficiency because the Spleen is the precursor of Blood. It transforms Food-Qi into Blood with the help of the Lungs and the Heart.

Emotional stress: 'Pensiveness" (thinking too much, brooding, thinking about the past) makes Qi stagnate, which affects the Spleen because of its strong connection with Qi. Similarly Worry ‘knots’ Qi, which also makes it stagnate and also affects the Spleen.

Damp environment: "The Spleen loathes Dampness": prolonged exposure to dampness (either from weather or from the place of living) weakens the Spleen and may lead to this pattern.

Diagnosing Spleen Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale, Thin and slightly dry

Main symptoms: Fatigue Insomnia Lassitude Thin body Weak Limbs Depression Amenorrhea Loose stools Poor appetite Scanty periods Pale complexion Slight abdominal distention after eating

Diagnosis commentary: The key symptoms here are the fatigue, the slight abdominal distension after eating, the scanty periods and the Pale tongue. The first three symptoms are enough in and of themselves to diagnose Spleen Blood Deficiency.

Treating Spleen Blood Deficiency

Treatment principle

Tonify Spleen Qi, nourish Blood.

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen Blood Deficiency

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.

Formula summary

Gui Pi Tang is a 12-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1529 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.

Besides Spleen Blood Deficiency, Gui Pi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Blood Deficiency.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang

Diet recommendations

A key change one can make to avoid or treat Spleen Blood Deficiency is to incorporate a lot of grains and meat in their diet since those are Blood-forming foods.

It's also important to get rid of poor dietary habits that might lead to Spleen Qi Deficiency, a precursor to Spleen Blood Deficiency. Habits such as the excessive consumption of cold and raw foods (like salads or cold drinks), eating at irregular times or eating chronically too much or too little.

Consequence patterns

Phlegm and/or Dampness

If left untreated Spleen Blood Deficiency can lead to Phlegm and/or Dampness

Blood Deficiency

Spleen Blood Deficiency often leads to a generalized Blood Deficiency because it implies a Grain-Qi (Gu Qi) Deficiency. When there is not enough Grain Qi, Blood production is severely impaired body-wide since Blood is produced from Grain Qi. This situation is much more common in women than men.

Spleen Yang Deficiency

If left untreated Spleen Blood Deficiency can lead to Spleen Yang Deficiency

Spleen Qi Sinking

If left untreated Spleen Blood Deficiency can lead to Spleen Qi Sinking

Heart Qi Deficiency

If left untreated Spleen Blood Deficiency can lead to Heart Qi Deficiency

Lung Qi Deficiency

If left untreated Spleen Blood Deficiency can lead to Lung Qi Deficiency

Kidney Yang Deficiency

If left untreated Spleen Blood Deficiency can lead to Kidney Yang Deficiency

Liver Blood Deficiency

If left untreated Spleen Blood Deficiency can lead to Liver Blood Deficiency

Pericardium Blood Deficiency

Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency are the common precursors of Pericardium Blood Deficiency.