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Synergy when western science meets Chinese medicine

Explaining the TCM concept of “blood deficiency”

In CM (Chinese Medicine) a person with good physical energy and mental clarity, has good BLOOD and QI levels which is “feeling great”.

Not feeling good is a sub-healthy condition. It is the beginning of more serious imbalance. Your performance and efficiency may decline or your organs may be affected.

The CM concept of blood deficiency is very similar to WM (western medicine) concept of anemia (but not equivalent).

Both men and women can be affected although this is more common in women and those who feel constantly tired, look pale, commonly have cold hands and feet, light or heavy periods, light headed when standing up and poor immunity. The GUAN point is felt as being weak (this pulse point is located near the wrist). The CM practitioner will recognise this pattern as BLOOD DEFICIENCY. The treatment plan follows a well established protocol of applying acupuncture at the blood tonifying points and/or moxa to the XUE HAI point and CM herbs such as DANG GUI, BAI SHAO, JI XIE TANG and HONG ZAO. CM has been using these methods to treat symptoms Blood Deficiency for centuries effectively.

Difficult cases can leave both practitioners and patients frustrated and puzzled, especially when the blood test are within normal reference range.

The good news is that many scientists have started to investigate genetic factors that play a role in these symptoms and have found that our genetics play an important role on some BLOOD DEFICIENCY OR ANEMIA CASES.

Now scientists realise that a certain percentage of the population are born with B12 related gene mutations. For instance, genes responsible for transporting B12 into our cells may be faulty resulting in high serum levels but low intracellular levels. You may then have symptoms of B12 deficiency even when blood serum B12 levels are “normal”.

According to newest data, the genes involved with B12/folate metabolism are: MTHFR, MTRR, MS4A3, MMAA, MUT, CLYBL, MMACHC, TNC1, FUT2, TCN2, CUBN, CD320, and others……,

Examples of the most researched and relevant genes:

TCN2 (Transcobalamin 2) a B12 transporter protein binds to B12 in the blood and transports it to cells and tissues. Approximately 30% of plasma B12 is bonded to TCN2 and it is responsible for majority of B12 transport to tissues. when this gene is mutated on C776G, even if plasma B12 levels are normal, intracellular B12 deficiency can still occur.

Our body needs Iron, protein and B12 to make blood, so if B12 is insufficient, the body has difficulty in making optimal levels of blood. The gene tests could give us a much better understanding on dealing with blood deficiency symptoms: Is it a B12 deficiency that is a cause of low energy?

FUT2 stands for Focusyltransferase 2, codes for an enzyme involved in the synthesis of oligosaccharides in the mucus of the bowel. It affects the gastrointestinal flora.

This gene could be mutated so it causes some people unable to absorb B12 from food source or oral supplementation properly.

The best way to delivery B12? From foods sources vs Oral B12 supplementation or injection? It Depends.

Recently, I treated a woman who had a 6-week miscarriage for unknown reasons. On patient history taking, she had all symptoms of BLOOD DEFICIENCY. Her methylation profile was abnormal. Her mother also needs B12 injections on a regular basis. During that pregnancy, she felt so fatigued, was constantly sick with “cold” and “flu” like symptoms. Her B12 and Ferritin (iroon) levels were always between low and normal, even when she had been eating plenty of foods rich in Iron and B12. Also she was taking extra Iron and B12 supplements.

I suggested that she starts Adeno B12 (active form) injection and CM BLOOD TONIC HERBS: DangGui, BaiShao, JiXieTeng, ShangJiShen etc. She felt an instant boost of energy and developed a pink appearance after being pale for so long. Not very long after, she fell pregnant again. This time, she looks great, feeling fantastic, lost some weight with modified diet. She is now very active with plenty of excise. The good news is, that this time her pregnancy has passed the 7-week mark and she continues to feel great.

The gene test is available in Australia now, though is not covered by Medicare.

Disclaimer: This is a general information article, please do not use this content to attempt to make self-diagnosis nor treatment. Please consult your health practitioner to have a thorough check and guided treatment.

References ----An update on vitamin B12-related gene polymorphisms and B12 status

The point of XUE HAI for nourishing Blood – translation is THE SEA OF BLOOD

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