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Kidney syndromes are the ways your Kidneys (capital K for Kidney, meaning the Kidney Zang-fu energy organ in Chinese medicine) mis-function. In other words, how Chinese medical theory describes Kidney patterns of disease.
This page has links to other pages describing the syndromes in more detail, with what can be done about them.
(But first, you ask, what’s with the picture of the horses, above? Well, it’s dawn, they are wonderful strong animals, rested and powerful, a huge resource for their owners. Rather like healthy Kidneys.)
On this page you’ll find a list of the syndromes but first, why do the Kidneys mis-function?
First, read what in Chinese medicine the Kidneys are said to do, the Kidney functions. The rest of this page describes why you get Kidney syndromes, ie why your Kidneys fail to function and do the jobs described on that page.
The ancient Chinese doctors recognised problems inherited from parents, being more-or-less what we would describe as genetic defects, as being a major cause of Kidney syndromes.
In particular, they wanted
Stress can deplete your Kidney energy. For more about this read my book ‘Qi Stagnation – Signs of Stress‘ but prolonged or great stress is exhausting, as most people recognise.
What gets exhausted is your Kidney energy – your Kidney Qi.
If you thrive on stress and it doesn’t exhaust you, you probably have strong Kidney Qi.
Well Done! However, don’t get too vain because if your life involves constant change, many occupations, your searchlight brain attention trying to deal with too many things at once, then, whether you enjoy it or not, over time you will still probably over-use your Kidney Qi.
In particular, emotional strain is damaging. Strong fears, panics, great anxiety or shock are worst.
One might add (being a parent) that if you allow your children to stay up at night too often, getting too little sleep (see below), and watching – in particular – very frightening movies, you may inadvertently be draining their Kidney Qi.
So Kidney syndromes can arise from doing things you enjoy! Unfortunately. (What? You ask – even ice-cream? Answer, well, yes, at least in theory. Though I think you’d need to work at it. But other things would suffer before it got to your Kidney energy: Stomach and Spleen energies for example.)
This draws on more resources than you can muster from the food you eat and the air you breath so it eats into your reserves of Kidney Qi and Jing Essence. Which Kidney syndromes are mainly affected? Kidney Yin especially.
This varies according to your sex and makeup.
Copyright Rebecca Abell Dreamstime
As you age, you use up your Jing Essence and your Kidney Qi, giving you signs of ageing. Many signs of ageing are directly attributable to Kidney function declining, including the effects of age on bones, joints, hearing and vitality including sexual vitality. As you age you become more susceptible to Kidney syndromes.
If you don’t allow yourself time off to recover from work, you may dip into your reserves of Kidney Qi and even Jing Essence.
Sleep, rest and holidays are important, especially for children and teenagers. A regime of early bed for them, especially during school-time, is vital. Check Insomnia if this is a problem.
It also inculcates good habits and means they learn how to sleep properly. They are then brighter and more alert and amenable next day, so learn more, giving them a better chance in life.
Does taking no exercise harm your Kidney energy? Well, no, at least not for a while. Taking no exercise doesn’t seem to deplete Kidney Qi to start with BUT it does weaken your Spleen.
As time passes a weak Spleen can lead to all sorts of other problems, including Qi Stagnation, Damp and Blood Stasis. Eventually those problems include an effect on the Heart energy and so eventually on Kidney, mainly Kidney Yang.
Also, a weak Spleen energy makes poor Blood. You can improve and possibly add to your supply of Jing Essence by having healthy Blood. So a weak Spleen and poor Blood make more inroads on your long-term deep Jing essence reserves. Hence you age faster.
Of course exercise also improves your Lung function, which also helps your Kidney function in several ways (by descending Qi and via the 5 Element Mother-Child law.) Healthy lungs give you good energy.
If this amounts to over-strain, then yes. This mostly depletes Kidney Yang and can cause Blood Stasis too.
When the Kidneys fail or mis-function, various syndromes of disease occur and the main ones are as follows.
Click on the one you’re interested in to go to a page describing it in more detail.
When the line is NOT in red it means the link has not been made yet, or perhaps the page has not been written!
(For which my apologies, but Chinese medicine is a big subject and I only write pages as I need them to explain problems to my patients, or so that people reading one of my books online can click on a link in the book to help them understand a concept.)
Regarding deficiency or ‘Empty’ situations:
Syndromes that have both Emptiness but also some Fullness:
Combined syndromes, ie syndromes where another of the Zang-fu Energy organs shares or contributes: