Hepatitis C Help

Chinese Medicine

Chinese Diagnostic Techniques

Chinese Pulse Diagnosis

The Chinese pulse diagnosis most often found in liver disease, especially when there is liver pain is a wiry pulse. However, other pulses — such as slippery, weak, hollow — are commonly found as well. It depends on the patterns found in an individual which will result in their Chinese differential diagnosis.

Tongue Diagnosis

When we look at the tongue in Chinese medicine, we can see what is organically happening within the body at any given moment. We look at the size, shape, color, coating, and moisture of the tongue. The tongue patterns we often see in HCV include purplish tongue, swollen tongue with toothmarks, and red spots throughout the tongue. In severe cases, we may find purple lesions or black areas on the edges of the tongue.

Diagnosis Model

Abdominal Palpation Diagnosis

Abdominal palpation and diagnosis is common in Japanese style Hara diagnosis. It is rarer, but used, in Chinese diagnosis. We also palpate the abdomen to feel for the size and hardness of the liver.

Facial Diagnosis

When we look at the face, we see colors and textures in various areas. This diagnosis is not always used in Chinese medicine, however Japanese macrobiotic diagnosis uses it extensively. There are many forms of facial diagnosis — some are not related.

Chinese Differential Diagnosis

The Organ Patterns primarily disturbed in hepatitis C virus (HCV) are the Liver Organ Patterns and Spleen Organ Patterns. These Organ Patterns affect a person’s digestion and energy. According to Chinese traditional medicine, acute viral hepatitis is generally associated with excess Damp Heat or Damp Cold conditions.

While in a few cases a person infected with HCV may have or notice acute symptoms, it is rare. Therefore, the TCM stages at which one is diagnosed with hepatitis C are often in the chronic stages of Qi Stagnation, and the Qi and Yin Deficiency stages. Advanced chronic disease includes a development of the patterns of Xue (Blood) Stagnation and Xue (Blood) Deficiency.

Toxic Heat

All HCV is associated with the li qi (pestilence/Epidemic Factor) Toxic Heat:

  • Symptoms: Itching, sensations of heat, agitation
  • Tongue: Red spots and red body
  • Pulse: Rapid

Excess Syndromes

In addition, there are ten syndromes specifically associated with viral hepatitis.

The following EXCESS SYNDROMES are associated generally with Acute Hepatitis and increased Liver Enzymes. However, these may persist in chronic hepatitis (along with additional syndromes that develop as liver disease progresses).

1. Liver /Gallbladder Damp-Heat

  • Bright Yellow Face/Eyes
  • Fever
  • Costal Pain
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Pulse: Wiry
  • Tongue: Red w/ Yellow Greasy Fur

2. Spleen Damp-Heat

  • Bright Yellow Face
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Pulse: Slippery
  • Tongue: Red w/ Yellow Greasy Fur

3. Spleen Damp-Cold

  • Sallow Yellow Face
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Feels Cold/Often has fever
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Pulse: Slippery
  • Tongue: Pale with Greasy White Fur

The following EXCESS SYNDROME is generally associated with chronic hepatitis

4. Qi Stagnation

  • Fatigue
  • Costal Pain
  • Fullness in Abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Flatulence/Bloating
  • Often Increased Liver Enzymes
  • Swollen Liver and Spleen
  • Pulse: Wiry
  • Tongue: Purplish or Normal with thin white coat

The following DEFICIENCY SYNDROMES are associated generally with chronic hepatitis:

5. Spleen Qi Deficiency

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal Tenderness
  • Nausea/Queasiness
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Loose Stools
  • Pulse: Deficient
  • Tongue: Pale Swollen w/ Toothmarks

7. Qi Deficiency (General)

  • Fatigue
  • Bleeding (such as purpura)
  • Leg Edema
  • Ascites Pulse: Deficient
  • Tongue: Pale, Swollen

6. Liver Yin Deficiency

  • Dryness of Eyes, Nails, Throat, and Mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry Vision
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Reddish Cheeks and Eyes
  • Numb Limbs
  • Quick Temper
  • Pulse: Thin, Deficient, Wiry, Rapid

8. Yin Deficiency (General)

  • Fatigue
  • Reddish Cheeks
  • Nightsweats
  • Afternoon Fevers or Hot flashes
  • Restlessness
  • Wakes up during night
  • Pulse: Thin, Deficient, Rapid

The following DEFICIENCY SYNDROME is often associated with cirrhosis

9. Xue (Blood) Deficiency

  • Pale and Lusterless Face
  • General Dryness
  • Enzymes often Normalize
  • Shrunken Liver
  • Pulse: Deficient and Thready/Hollow if loss of blood
  • Tongue: Pale

The following EXCESS SYNDROME is often associated with liver cancer (and is in addition to DEFICIENCY SYNDROMES)

10. Xue (Blood) Stagnation

  • Sharp Stabbing Costal Pain
  • Abdomen Hurts with Movement
  • Pulse: Choppy or Wiry (with pain)
  • Tongue: Purple or Purple sides
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