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GallBladder Damp-Heat is common! You’ve probably experienced it after a long, frustrating week at work followed by a large meal with lots of fat in it. Read the symptoms below and decide for yourself!
Damp-Heat in your Gallbladder occurs when two conditions converge.
When Fire combines with Damp, you get Damp-Heat.
Why has this got anything to do with the Gallbladder? Because heat in the Liver organ spills over into the Gallbladder, its paired organ in the Wood element, and because too much greasy food overwhelms the supply of bile. Then you get GallBladder Damp-Heat!
Hypochondrial pain: this is pain under your ribs towards the side of your abdomen. If feels full there, as if stuffed, and it’s slightly more likely to occur on your right side than your left side. The area often feels distended.
Nausea and/or vomiting: you’ll feel better when you’ve got rid of your stomach contents, though some of the other symptoms will stick around for a while.
A sense of fullness, even distension: usually in the hypochondria.
Heat, probably fever: you may think you have an infection, a bug. If you have the other symptoms listed here, it’s probably not a bug. The fever will come and go, so you may feel hot then suddenly cold; you may sweat and if you do it may have a sour smell; possibly burnt, or frequently a rather sickly sweet smell, technically called ‘fragrant’.
Thirst: with the heat comes thirst, and dryness. Curiously, however, you may not particularly want to drink – a common symptom when there is damp in your body.
Bowels: whether you get diarrhoea or constipation depends on a number of factors. Both will be smelly and your stools may lack their usual colour if the colour of your skin, or the flesh under your fingernails, or the whites of your eyes, goes yellow. In that case you’ve got jaundice too. Your stools lose their colour because what would otherwise have been bile salts colouring your stools back up into your liver and enter the blood stream giving you skin its yellow sheen.
Limbs: can swell in the feet or round the ankles, particularly on the outside, and legs may feel heavy or numb.
Urine: You may find you are peeing less because the heat has dried it out. Urine may be darker and smell stronger.
Tired heaviness: you probably won’t want to move much and may even feel a bit numb in your hands and feet. This heaviness comes mainly from the damp part of Gallbladder damp-heat.
Skin: yellow, from bile rising back from the gallbladder into the liver and backing up into the blood stream. Can start off as yellow just under your fingernails or in the whites of your eyes.
Discharges: yellow and sticky. Usually smelly.
Genitals: rashes, itchy, swelling.
Temper: you will be poor company, irritable, peevish, demanding or occasionally sullen and unresponsive.
Eyes: may be yellow, as explained above. They may also be a bit sore.
Tongue: the coating on your tongue will be yellow, greasy and is often thick. Typically it runs in two streaks one on each side of the midline of your tongue.
Pulse: rapid, slippery, wiry. Rapid comes from the heat. Slipperiness comes from the damp. Wiriness comes from the discomfort and your frustration.
Of course, you'll probably have a headache too!
Dizziness: this is because damp-heat gets into your ears. At least that’s the easy way to explain it. The proper explanation is more complicated and involves deficiency of Blood, Liver Yang, and heat causing internal Wind, depending on the exact nature of your symptoms. Let’s just call it damp-heat in your ears, messing up your vestibular apparatus.
Ears – tinnitus: noises in your ears are probably loud and unpleasant. This comes from what Chinese Medicine calls Liver Yang. The more often you get tinnitus the more likely you will be to keep it. You can get it in a number of different ways, and Gallbladder Damp-Heat is just one of them. Try to get it treated early because in my experience once you've had it continuously for two years it involves something else (Kidney qi deficiency) and can be much harder to treat.
Appetite and Digestion: apart from nausea and vomiting, you probably won’t be able to face, let alone eat, fatty food, such as pork or cream.
Points are chosen to clear the heat, transform the damp, get your Qi moving again, and calm the Shen – your ‘spirit’, meaning your wretched state of mind!
For dampness there are several acupuncture pints, but dampness is not cleared so easily and may need several treatments:
For the heat there are other points like
Other useful points increase the effectiveness of the treatment, such as, on the Gallbladder channel itself:
Read Liver Damp Heat: that tells you more or less what you need!
All the books in the 'Chinese Medicine in English' series should be fully accessible on Kindles and Kindle apps. (Or you can buy the softback print editions, of course.)
('Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine' published 1986, was never available in a Kindle version.)
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Here are some of the books I (Jonathan) have written.
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Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine!
Four Reviews so far. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)
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