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Understanding Gu Syndrome




by Kaime Hood, Acupuncturist

Gu Syndrome- Stealth pathogenic infections and chronic health conditions in Chinese Medicine

Gu syndrome in Chinese medicine loosely translates to difficult or recalcitrant diseases, hidden and stealth pathogenic infections, including chronic parasites, spirochete infections, viral, fungal and bacterial infections, and environmental toxins that can lead to chronic and systemic inflammatory conditions.

Various symptoms and western diagnoses can be associated with Gu syndrome including many degenerative chronic infections such as HIV, mould illness, Epstein Barr virus, Ross River virus, Parvo virus, IBS, chronic fatigue disorder, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, candida, complex pain disorders, and other tick borne illness, malaria, and neuro-inflammatory symptoms resulting in emotional and cognitive disturbances.

When the immune and digestive systems are weakened either constitutionally or due to chronic lifestyle or nutritional factors, opportunistic pathogens are able to take hold in a person’s body. Genetic variations or sensitivities also contribute and predispose someone to developing chronic inflammatory type illnesses after exposure to a pathogen or environmental toxin creating the right conditions for chronic illness to set in.

The Symptoms

These types of pathogens can not only have systemic and chronic effects on someone’s physical symptoms but can also result in mental health disturbances. Symptoms of neurological inflammation such as brain fog, unclear and scattered thinking, insomnia, hallucinations, negative thoughts, depression, hyper-sensitivity to sounds and smell, anxiety, irritability and emotional dysregulation can be classified as Brain Gu syndrome where-as symptoms with an emphasis on digestive dysbiosis and inflammation are typical of Digestive Gu Syndrome caused by pathogens that are primarily present in the gut, like certain types of worms, protozoan parasites, or fungi, all of which happily coexist and promote each other.

Benefits of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Both Brain and digestive Gu syndrome can present simultaneously but generally there is an emphasis on one over the other. Differentiation between the two assists a Chinese medicine practitioner in deciding which types of herbs and formulas to use. Often herbal medicine is required for a time frame of 18 months up to 5 years depending on the severity of the case. Formulas are required to be modified every 4-6 weeks to ensure pathogens do not adapt and become resistant to the herbs. These herbal formulas and combinations are based on ancient formulas that are not commonly used in modern applications of Chinese herbal medicine and can appear to be strange herbal combinations. Gu formulas focus on strengthening and tonifying the immune system using immune boosting herbs that also have anti-parasitic functions with herbs that clear toxins and infections targeting pathogens, facilitating detoxification and breaking down biofilm. These formulas are required to strengthen ‘Zheng Qi’ which is the Qi associated with the ability to fight external pathogens and clear the pathogen at the same time.

Chronic inflammatory conditions related to Gu Syndrome can take time to treat, these types of pathogens are very good at being undetected for long periods of time due to the complex nature of their actions and the systemic effects that can take place in the body. However, this is not to say that over time a patient can- not make a full recovery with help from the ancient Gu syndrome Chinese herbal formulas.

Kaime Hood treats a wide range of conditions using acupuncture techniques and Chinese herbal medicine while incorporating supplementation and nutritional support from an integrated medicine framework. Kaime’s areas of special interest include mental health, addiction, depression, anxiety, PTSD and women’s health conditions. Book an appointment online or phone 02 6685 6445.

*This blog features the views of the writer and is for educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health practitioners before acting on information on this article.

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