Although this page is about Heart Blood deficiency, if you haven’t yet found out about Heart Blood click on that link and have a quick read.
Causes of Heart Blood Deficiency
A relaxed personality, comfortable in yourself and your body, implies sound levels of Heart Blood.
If you have a deficiency of this, you’ll get many symptoms that are all too common nowadays, especially among people who work in offices.
There are three main causes of Heart Blood deficiency, although it can also arise from Liver Blood deficiency.
Down below I also list another cause, somewhat less common.
All emotions potentially affect the Heart energy and strong emotions even more so.
Long-term, fear, worry, grief, anxiety, all of these affect the Shen and the Heart energy.
Short-term, bad news or sudden loss, as when a relationship breaks up (especially if it’s you who receives the unwelcome news) can ‘break the heart’: or so it feels. Anger affects the Liver more than the Heart, but bitterness remaining after anger affects the Heart.
2. Blood Loss
A loss or haemorrhage of blood depletes Blood throughout the body including Heart Blood. The faster it happens, the more obvious the signs, but anyone who has a small, perhaps unnoticed, but continuing haemorrhage will eventually be affected.
Such losses might be in the bowels or small intestine, or from taking a drug which diminishes or prevents blood clotting.
Blood losses from heavy periods, surgery, wounds, and during childbirth can all lead to Heart Blood deficiency – and these are often a major contributor to post-natal depression.
Poor nutrition – poor food choices or poor eating habits and/or inability to absorb the nutritive benefit of food because of weak Spleen Qi mean poorly nourished blood: that gives deficient Blood, and therefore potential for or likelihood of Heart Blood deficiency.
As we age, our ability to absorb what we need from food often becomes a problem. For example, our level of vitamin B12 reduces because our stomachs cannot produce what is called the ‘intrinsic factor’. Without this our cells function poorly, leading to many problems some of which can be described by Heart Blood deficiency.
There are other causes of Blood deficiency, which leads on to Heart Blood deficiency, including excessive exercise or physical work, weakening your Spleen qi and leading to both Blood stagnation and Qi Stagnation in the the pelvic area.
Some athletes, (mainly women, but also men who have over-strained their bodies) may find they get some of the symptoms of this syndrome, with or without Blood deficiency.
- Women with Heart Blood deficiency from this cause would probably find their periods diminishing in volume.
- Men might not be aware of their Blood deficiency, just aware that they start getting mild palpitations and some of the other symptoms listed below such as breathlessness.
Technical bit of stuff here! If you’re just interested in what it’s like to have Heart Blood deficiency, jump on down the page to Symptoms.
You may wonder why, if Blood deficiency leads to Heart Blood deficiency, why there is any need to separate the latter deficiency from the former.
For the same reason, why bother dividing Liver Blood deficiency from Blood deficiency?
Good questions and good reasons!
The reasons lie not just in the cause of the deficiency but in its symptoms. The underlying causes of Liver Blood deficiency include, as with Heart Blood deficiency, deficient Blood from weak Spleen Qi and poor nutrition, but with Liver Blood deficiency, deficiency can arise from causes distinct from those of Heart Blood deficiency, (Liver Blood deficiency causes include Liver Qi stagnation and Kidney Qi and Kidney Yin deficiency, none of which produce Heart Blood deficiency).
This syndrome has its own separate causes – see above.
More important are the symptoms of these two forms of Blood deficiency because it is the symptoms which lead to the diagnosis, from which comes the correct treatment.
If you have Heart Blood deficiency, just treating Blood deficiency on its own will help, but it won’t do the whole job: a vital part is missing.
Similarly with Liver Blood deficiency: there are additional actions when treating it that aren’t touched by merely treating Blood deficiency.
Symptoms of Heart Blood Deficiency
Because the Heart governs the Mind, the Shen, and the Shen resides in the Heart Blood, when there is insufficient Heart Blood, there are mental symptoms. (How would you feel if your nice secure house suddenly started evaporating, or perhaps, destitute, you had to live on the streets? Insecurity, anxiety, inability to concentrate? … would be just the start of it!)
PLEASE NOTE! You may not have all these symptoms, but the more of them you have the more likely it is that you have this syndrome.