Saturday, 17 December 2011

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Water Retention in the Lung & Legs



On 10th Oct 2011, one of my old patients, who is 78 years old, came to see me. She looked frail and weak. She was a former nursing officer in SGH. She said she was hospitalized for three weeks because she had water retention in her lung and in her legs. She had taken some anti-biotic before being admitted to hospital. Not knowing that she had taken anti-biotic before admission, she was given strong anti-biotic drips. Because of excessive dosage of anti-biotic, she went into hallucination. She also went through a few rounds of fluid extraction from her lung. The doctors in the hospital could not detect any thing wrong with her except that she had water retention in her lung and legs. She said since they could not detect any thing wrong with her, she asked to be discharged.

She was my old patient and I knew her for five years. When she came, not only that she was frail and weak, she had also run down a lot. Her legs were swollen and she had a bit of cough. She also complained of poor appetite, stomach flatulence and could not walk properly (needs to be held by her maid when she walked). I told her that she needed to take medicine besides acupuncture. I asked her whether she felt uncomfortable lying down to sleep but felt better if she sat up to sleep. If so, it is a sign that her lung has water retention. Only then she told me that she had a few rounds of fluid extraction from her lung and she did not want to have it again. She hoped to seek TCM treatment to expel the fluid in her lung and legs.

I gave her acupuncture and heat treatment and also asked her to take my medicine. After two weeks, water retention on her legs had reduced, but she complained that whenever she took a deep breath, her chest seemed like a little blocked. She went back to the hospital for further review and they found that her lung was quite clear but there was a bit of water retention in her heart.

I continue to treat her with acupuncture and prescribed Chinese medicine for her. I told her that she should take some ginseng (高丽参) as it can strengthen her heart. She also complained of feeling cold especially the legs. I taught her to do sun-bathing as this will make her body warm and at the same time the heat from the sun helps her to sweat. This is a natural way to expel unwanted water from the lung. She came back to tell me that after a few rounds of sun-bathing, she felt better. She could now breathe better and also she has more strength and could walk by herself without help from her maid. She also told me that she could eat better and had already put on 3 kgs of weight.

On 25th Nov, one and a half months after seeing me, she called telling my staff that she needed to talk to me urgently. I was wondering what was so urgent. Had something happened to her? When I came to the phone, she said: "Good news, the doctor in the hospital said that they could not find any fluid in both my lung and heart and I want to thank you!” She said the doctor in charge enquired how her lung and heart was clear of fluid without him giving any medicine to her. She told him she was seeing a Chinese physician and how she was treated.

Attached herewith are reports given by my patient (reports are cropped to conceal patient's name):


X-Ray Pleural Effusion is Seen


X-Ray Lung Fields are Clear



Tiny Pericardial Effusion is Seen



No Pericardial Effusion seen


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