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new here with lipoedema and adrenal/thyroid issues

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Hi- I'm new here. I'm a mom of 3 and currently breastfeeding my baby. I have

long-term adrenal/thyroid issues that I am finally successfully working on for

the past year or so. Additionally, I am thin (5-4/110pounds) yet have fat legs.

I've been doing research and think that my fat leg condition is lipoedema (also

called lipedema or lipodema). My research says that lipoedema is caused by

hormone imbalance, mostly usually thyroid hormone imbalance. So, that would be

me. My lipoedema is a mild case and not like the scary pictures online, yet I

do want to heal myself of lipoedema.

 

I'm hoping that my thyroid healing will bring healing of my lipoedema, but I'm

not sure how long it is going to take me to heal my thyroid.

 

I'm wondering if Traditional can offer any help to me for my

lipoedema. Help for my adrenal/thyroid issues would be great too.

 

I have done acupuncture before, but I just cannot financially do it right now.

I wish I could.

 

Thanks!

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On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM, mom114425 <stompingbaby wrote:

 

> Hi- I'm new here.

>

 

 

Welcome!

 

 

> I'm a mom of 3 and currently breastfeeding my baby.

>

 

 

 

Does that make it difficult to type? ;)

 

I have long-term adrenal/thyroid issues that I am finally successfully

> working on for the past year or so. Additionally, I am thin (5-4/110pounds)

> yet have fat legs. I've been doing research and think that my fat leg

> condition is lipoedema (also called lipedema or lipodema). My research says

> that lipoedema is caused by hormone imbalance, mostly usually thyroid

> hormone imbalance. So, that would be me. My lipoedema is a mild case and not

> like the scary pictures online, yet I do want to heal myself of lipoedema.

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Mecurius wrote applies. It is difficult to know what's going on with

you lacking more information that is specific to how TCM looks at things.

So, anything I say, take with a grain of salt because I'm making wide

generalizations that may not apply to you.

 

Firstly, lipodema is a mixture of two words. " lipid " and " edema " . Lipids are

fats (and fat tissue), while edema is more about fluids.

 

Both of these terms exist along a continuum that we (TCM'ers) call phlegm

damp accumulation. Phlegm and damp are due to problems in fluid metabolism.

There are a few internal organs in charge of fluid metabolism in Chinese

medicine. These will overlap somewhat with your adrenal/thyroid issues, but

there is no one-to-one correspondance.

 

There are three organs (plus a few others such as the " Triple Burner " ) that

are in charge of fluid metabolism. They are the Lungs, Spleen, and Kidneys.

I capitilize these terms to remind the reader these are not necessarily the

same as the biomedical " lungs, spleen, and kidneys " .

 

The Spleen pulls the fluids out of food and drink and lifts it to the Lungs

where they are distributed as a mist to nourish and moisturize bodywide. As

the fluids slowly descend, they ultimately make their ways to the Kidneys

where they are separated into " pure and turbid " . The pure is revaporized and

sent up to the Lungs to begin the cycle again, and the turbid descends to

the bladder to be excreted. That " Triple Burner " organ that I mentioned is

said to be in charge of the water pathways. There's a whole book on this

topic that I haven't personally read. I don't claim to have too much insight

into how that works.

 

Now, if the function of any of these components of the fluid metabolism is

compromised, the outcome is going to be pathological fluid collection. This

fluid can be more like a mist or humidity, it can collect into fluids like

edema, and ultimately it can congeal into something more squishy like phlegm

or adipose tissue (fat). So, in lipodema, for there to be both water and fat

collecting together seems pretty reasonable, though I'm confident that you

have symptoms of the humidity type of dampness too. (Symptoms of humidity

type dampness include lack of appetite, foggy head, heaviness of the body,

any problem that is aggravated by damp weather, etc.)

 

The location of the dampness also provides some diagnostic insight. These

are general rules, but again they really can't be taken by themselves, to do

this right, you'd need to have your tongue and pulse seen and touched, as

well as other Q & A beyond simply the symptom you hope to address (lipodema).

 

So, when the problem is in the Lungs, you may see facial edema, such as bags

beneath the eyes when you have a cold.

 

When the problem is in the Kidneys look for the edema to show up in the

ankles.

 

Finally, when the problem is in the Spleen, you'll see more edema in the

middle abdomen and/or thighs. So, that's probably what's going on with you.

 

Treatment would be herbs to strengthen the Spleen and transform dampness

and/or phlegm. A simple formula that is easy to obtain is called Liu Jun Zi

Tang (Six Gentlemen Decoction).

 

However, some practitioners would rather just give you a diuretic to

stimulate you to urinate out the excessive fluids. One formula that's pretty

good for that is called Wu Ling San (Poria Five Powder). Another that is

used for patients who present feeling cold as a rule is called Zhen Wu Tang

(True Warrior Decoction). This feeling cold thing might look like a thyroid

deficiency as well. So that might fly for you as well. it'll warm you up

while stimulating diuresys.

 

I'm hoping that my thyroid healing will bring healing of my lipoedema, but

> I'm not sure how long it is going to take me to heal my thyroid.

>

 

 

 

 

 

What are you doing to heal your thyroid?

 

 

> I'm wondering if Traditional can offer any help to me for

> my lipoedema. Help for my adrenal/thyroid issues would be great too.

>

> I have done acupuncture before, but I just cannot financially do it right

> now. I wish I could.

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, herbs cost money too, as a rule much less than acupuncture. But

if you can find a " community acupuncture clinic " near you where they treat a

bunch of people in one room, you can probably afford it. Acupuncture schools

offer inexpensive treatments too.

 

All my best,

-al.

 

 

--

, DAOM

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

 

 

 

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Hi there, and welcome.

 

Yeah, I agree, you've got what TCM people would call a western diagnosis. A TCM

diagnosis and treatment plan is going to look a bit different than a western

diagnosis and plan. Often times there can be what would be considered one

diagnosis in western medicine, and can actually have 2 or more different root

causes according to TCM philosophy.

 

TCM can most likely help you. Of course it depends on a lot of things, like the

relationship between you and your healer and their knowledge and how accurately

they can apply and match treatments to your condition, and other major factors

like commitment level and consistency. In my opinion it would be well worth the

try to see what you feel it will do for you. Also keep in mind that if it

doesn't work with one specific practitioner, it doesn't necessarily mean that

TCM is not for you. That practitioner may just have stronger areas in places

other than your specific condition and/or may have some reason why they wouldn't

work as well with certain personalities; remember TCM is more of an art form, so

the relationship between the healer and client is really important.

 

From the sounds of it my guess is that you'd probably have something a long the

lines of dampness, which also usually has something to do with the Spleen (not

the anatomical spleen, but the set of functions in the body TCM calls the

Spleen; uppercase denotes the difference) because you have extra weight in the

lower part of your body. Dampness is heavy and tends to settle in the lower

parts. Also that you say you have thyroid issues might point to that as well.

The thyroid is sort of a regulator of the body as far as energy level and pace.

If you find that you lack energy, it might have something also to do with the

Spleen and dampness. The Spleen takes energy from the food and mists it up to

the Lungs. When dampness gets in there it's hard for the spleen to send the

energy up, and you can start to feel weighed down.

 

Some others on here can probably give you a more in depth look, and know some

more specific questions to ask to help you find some treatment. I'm not sure

what your situation is, but if you find it financially hard to get herbal

formulas or acupuncture, I'm not sure how much it will be able to help you. The

real power of it is the experience of healer in reading the situation and coming

up with the proper treatment. There are some things you can do yourself though

too.

 

Chinese Traditional Medicine , " mom114425 " <stompingbaby wrote:

>

> Hi- I'm new here. I'm a mom of 3 and currently breastfeeding my baby. I have

long-term adrenal/thyroid issues that I am finally successfully working on for

the past year or so. Additionally, I am thin (5-4/110pounds) yet have fat legs.

I've been doing research and think that my fat leg condition is lipoedema (also

called lipedema or lipodema). My research says that lipoedema is caused by

hormone imbalance, mostly usually thyroid hormone imbalance. So, that would be

me. My lipoedema is a mild case and not like the scary pictures online, yet I

do want to heal myself of lipoedema.

>

> I'm hoping that my thyroid healing will bring healing of my lipoedema, but I'm

not sure how long it is going to take me to heal my thyroid.

>

> I'm wondering if Traditional can offer any help to me for my

lipoedema. Help for my adrenal/thyroid issues would be great too.

>

> I have done acupuncture before, but I just cannot financially do it right now.

I wish I could.

>

> Thanks!

>

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The other thing I was going to mention, is that with the way TCM works, if the

problems are interrelated (which they usually are, ie the simplest explanation

that explains the most is usually the case - that's by Al) when you improve one,

you'll actually improving the whole collection of functions. So many things will

be positively affected that you might not have known were related before.

 

 

 

Chinese Traditional Medicine , " mom114425 " <stompingbaby wrote:

> I'm wondering if Traditional can offer any help to me for my

lipoedema. Help for my adrenal/thyroid issues would be great too.

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What you are giving us is a Western diagnosis. It's hard to say what the

TCM pattern diagnosis would be. I suspect the different diagnoses you

mention would be related from a TCM standpoint, though.

 

 

 

 

-

" mom114425 " <stompingbaby

<Chinese Traditional Medicine >

Sunday, May 24, 2009 3:17 PM

[Chinese Traditional Medicine] new here with lipoedema and adrenal/thyroid issues

 

 

> Hi- I'm new here. I'm a mom of 3 and currently breastfeeding my baby. I

> have long-term adrenal/thyroid issues that I am finally successfully

> working on for the past year or so. Additionally, I am thin

> (5-4/110pounds) yet have fat legs. I've been doing research and think

> that my fat leg condition is lipoedema (also called lipedema or lipodema).

> My research says that lipoedema is caused by hormone imbalance, mostly

> usually thyroid hormone imbalance. So, that would be me. My lipoedema is

> a mild case and not like the scary pictures online, yet I do want to heal

> myself of lipoedema.

>

> I'm hoping that my thyroid healing will bring healing of my lipoedema, but

> I'm not sure how long it is going to take me to heal my thyroid.

>

> I'm wondering if Traditional can offer any help to me for

> my lipoedema. Help for my adrenal/thyroid issues would be great too.

>

> I have done acupuncture before, but I just cannot financially do it right

> now. I wish I could.

>

> Thanks!

>

>

>

> ---

>

> Post message address: Chinese Traditional Medicine

> http://health.Chinese Traditional Medicine/

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Wow! You guys are so amazing and kind with all your help! Thank you so much

for all the responses:)

 

For my thyroid/adrenal issues, I am pretty much following the " Stop the Thyroid

Madness " protocol and am on the NTH-Adrenal (NTH=natural thyroid

hormone).

 

I am taking the following:

- Cytomel 37.5mg AM, 37.5mg noon, 25mg PM

- Hydrocortisone 10mg AM, 7.5mg 4hours later, 5mg 4hours later, and 2.5mg at

bedtime

- Slow K (timed release potassium) 1200mg AM, 1200mg PM

- Iron 200mg/day

- Sea Salt 3teaspoons/day

- Magnesium about 700mg/day

 

I am also taking my temps 3x/day, following the drrind.com graphing. My temps

have been consistent at 98.2 averages. I need to get to 98.6 averages.

 

At this point, I don't *feel* cold at all. I used to have cold hands/feet, but

no more since Cytomel/hydrocortisone.

 

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in college and given synthetic thyroid,

which I took for years. About 4 years ago, I switched to armour. And it has

been about a year since I added Cytomel. In Jan 2009, I stopped armour and am

only on Cytomel. I have a history of high Reverse T3. The hope is that will go

away with Cytomel only and that at some point I can switch back to armour. I

have heard that is not always possible.

 

I have a big history of serious mastitis, through my years of breastfeeding my

babies. With my first 2 babies, I had 50+ breast infections requiring

antibiotics. With my current baby, I have only had 2 episodes of mastitis, both

of which I took antibiotics for. I have not had mastitis since February, which

was a low adrenal time for me probably due to having a cold. I attribute my

reduced mastitis to my greatly improved adrenal health.

 

Additionally, I have a diagnosis of Immunoglobulin A deficiency. I've

previously been told that this was the cause of my mastitis, but it seems to not

be.

 

In addition to my lipoedema, I have a mild swelling feeling in my hands and to a

lesser extent my arms, legs, and feet. 8 years ago during a pregnancy, I had a

+ANA and was diagnosed with lupus. I no longer have the +ANA and don't have the

diagnosis because of that.

 

From what I am reading, it seems that my lipoedema is related to my

hypothyroidism. I believe that my lipoedema started when I was about 15 or 16.

 

My adrenal issues may be caused by the extreme stress I suffered in

childhood, as well as having a child with autism for the past 8 years.

 

The info I have read says that lipoedema is from the waist/hips down to the

ankles but spares the feet. I am mostly thin except for my *legs*. I wear a

size 2. Both my *upper and lower legs* are fat.

 

I found a local oriental medicine college, that I hear is good and is only $25

for either acupuncture or herbal medicine. So, I can definitely do that. The

place I used to go to is $90, and I just can't do $90 a week right now.

 

After reading all my voluminous info above (sorry for so much!), what do you

think I should do first? Should I get some herbs on my own? Should I make an

acupuncture appt? Should I make an herbal medicine appt?

 

Being purely speculative, do you have thoughts about whether TCM and/or

acupuncture can heal my lipoedema? And if so, about how long should I expect

the healing process to be?

 

Thank you again so very much!

Julie

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On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 11:56 AM, mom114425 <stompingbaby wrote:

 

>

>

> Wow! You guys are so amazing and kind with all your help! Thank you so much

> for all the responses:)

>

> I have a big history of serious mastitis

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may have a relationship to your phlegm damp accumulation.

 

Stomach organ is linked to the Spleen. Stomach channel passes through the

nipple.

 

Not sure if that matters either way, but that's a lot of infections.

Something going on there. Excessive antibiotics damage the Spleen Yang too,

thus aggravating the phlegm damp accumulation. Spleen yang is the metabolic

heat necessary for efficient digestion.

 

 

>

>

> After reading all my voluminous info above (sorry for so much!), what do

> you think I should do first? Should I get some herbs on my own? Should I

> make an acupuncture appt? Should I make an herbal medicine appt?

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I favor the herbs for this particular issue, but a good acupuncturist would

perhaps disagree.

 

Whatever you do, get one of the school supervisors to assess you first.

Chances are they'll want to give you both. Do both.

 

Don't be too attached to your hypothyroidism diagnosis. That could confuse

the student (and many supervisors). They're not taught to treat lab tests,

but the patient presentation. When we try and treat lab tests, we can lose

sight of what we're best at addressing. You!

 

Being purely speculative, do you have thoughts about whether TCM and/or

> acupuncture can heal my lipoedema? And if so, about how long should I expect

> the healing process to be?

>

 

 

 

 

 

You've had this problem all your life. I would not use the word " cure " but

" manage. " As for how long it will take you to start to see changes, you'll

need to jump into the process and assess things after a month or three. Then

you can perhaps begin to get a sense of what's possible.

 

Lifestyle changes may be required too ala dietary modifications, exercise,

etc...

 

Take care,

-al.

 

 

 

 

--

, DAOM

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

 

 

 

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Thanks so much!

 

So, since I should not talk about my western diagnoses (hypothyroidism, adrenal

fatigue?, lipoedema, etc.), HOW do you recommend that I present myself?

 

Should I just describe all of my symptoms?

Should I tell them about my adrenal/thyroid issues and what I am doing for that?

How will *they* assess me?

 

I've previously had acupuncture with a DOM, but she did *not* catch all of these

issues listed above - and probably did not assess me as she should

unfortunately.

 

Thanks!

Julie

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On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 9:19 AM, mom114425 <stompingbaby wrote:

 

>

>

> Thanks so much!

>

> So, since I should not talk about my western diagnoses (hypothyroidism,

> adrenal fatigue?, lipoedema, etc.), HOW do you recommend that I present

> myself?

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just answer their questions. That's it. :) They may give you an intake form

that allows you to describe these things too.

 

Lipoedema is actually okay to use as your chief complaint. You just point to

your legs and that's it. It is the CAUSE of your situation that CM will

address, but it will be on our terms (ala phlegm-damp accumulation) not a

thyroid or adrenal issue.

 

That being said, many students and even practitioners have trouble

recognizing the difference between biomedicine and CM. So, when they hear

" adrenal fatigue " they'll ask which points address that. There are none

classically speaking. However, there are plenty of points for feeling cold,

or phlegm-damp accumulation.

 

 

> Should I just describe all of my symptoms?

>

 

 

 

Yes.

 

>

> Should I tell them about my adrenal/thyroid issues and what I am doing for

> that?

>

 

 

 

 

 

That may come up, but I don't know how it will matter any. It may to them,

though. CM is a wide tent with lots of different approaches ultimately.

 

>

> How will *they* assess me?

>

 

 

 

 

" Four Pillars " of diagnosis: observation, palpation, inquiry, and

listening/smelling.

 

>

>

> I've previously had acupuncture with a DOM, but she did *not* catch all of

> these issues listed above - and probably did not assess me as she should

> unfortunately.

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These issues are not something that one needs to " catch " . They aren't on the

CM map. What she did catch however is everything that your other

practitioners did not. So, it's kind of six of one and a half dozen of the

other. Or you say " tomato " and I say " tomahto " .

 

Your DOM may have been an idiot too, who knows? My point is that we don't

look at the same things as biomedicine or naturopathy. This is VERY

difficult for a lot of people to get, practitioniers and patients both.

 

We treat what we see, according to the rules that define Chinese medicine.

By " we " I'm not referring to 100% of the CM practitioner population, but

those who are really deep and clear on CM are better in my book. However,

people report great results from other styles too. I just don't have the

same respect for it. But my respect and your healing are two different

things. :)

 

I'd be interested in what they say about your diagnosis, though. For my

money, I'd look for a student who's supervisor is some old guy (or girl)

from China or Korea. Better training, and longer experience matters!

 

-al.

 

 

 

--

, DAOM

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

 

 

 

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