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There are several ways to acquire Liver Damp Heat, but a lack of moderation in your appetites is a good start: read more about this under Aetiology, further down the page.
In the biggest sense of the word ‘Appetite’, I mean Life.
But if you don’t moderate your appetite for the following, you’ll probably end up with Liver Damp Heat, amongst other problems:
Of course, you won’t get all the following; at least let’s hope not!
Most people with these symptoms will feel ill and hot, and prefer open, cool air. However, not always: someone broken down by long years of illness may prefer warmth and prefer to avoid cold air.
It is also possible to have someone at the early stage of the condition who doesn’t yet feel ill.
Other forms of Liver Damp Heat that might seem unconnected include athlete’s foot, usually between the fourth and fifth toes or in the arch or sole of the foot, and some discharges from the eyes, if the sclera or other parts of the eyeball are inflamed.
Damp conditions, environments or foods that produce damp (see above and more below) prevent the free flow of Liver Qi, producing Liver Qi stagnation symptoms, (distension, nausea etc). This stops the usual direction of flow of bile, forcing it into the Blood, causing jaundice.
The presence of Heat with Damp produces continuous fever-like symptoms, although if not actual fever, then symptoms of heat.
So hot, damp, climates create the environment for this.
If someone has suffered Liver Qi Stagnation for a long period this will produce Heat in their bodies.
Combined with Damp you get Damp-Heat.
(By the way, I’ve written a book on Stress and Qi Stagnation, quite a big subject.)
However, external conditions such as hot weather can combine with Spleen-caused Damp to produce Damp-Heat.
Gallbladder Damp Heat is fairly similar and can increase it.
For this Liver syndrome to occur, usually Spleen qi must have been affected so that the Damp can arise in the first place.
This means that diet and worry, for example, could have been contributory factors, because they affect the Spleen.
Foods that, over-eaten, tend to cause this condition include:
Bad eating habits also contribute to this.
Easy to say, not necessarily easy to do:
If this condition goes on for too long, untreated, the experience of Chinese medicine is that it can turn into something worse, Phlegm.
So what can you do about this?
Easy to say, not necessarily easy to do!
First, a careful assessment of your condition and circumstances, during which he’ll take your pulse and look at your tongue and eyes.
He may palpate both your abdomen and along your acupuncture channels. He may look for sore points on your body or limbs. Importantly, he’ll take notes – careful notes.
Eventually he’ll make a diagnosis. That diagnosis tells him what he must do and the order to do it.
He’ll probably give you a lecture. In China it’s called ‘re-education’! He’ll want you to do things to help yourself, (see above) otherwise what he does may not work so well.
Then he’ll choose acupuncture points to use, some to relax you, some to clear damp and heat, some to calm your Liver energy.
After treatment, you’ll probably feel calm, in less discomfort, and you may sleep better.
Your family or friends may then find you easier to live with. You will almost certainly need a number of acupuncture treatments, although often even one leaves you feeling calmer, in less discomfort and more confident about your future. However, if you have addictions, you may need professional help for them.
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