Am I allergic to natural herbal medicines?

Is it possible that I am allergic to natural herbal medicine(s)?  I have been under acupunture treatments for anxiety+depression and tinnitus since May, 2012.  During this time, I've been taking various herbal pills for tinnitus, anxiety+depression and insomnia. The first ones are Er Long Zuo Ci Wan (for one week) for tinnitus along with An Mian Tang (for a month) for sleeping aids/insomnia, Shu Gan Wan (for one week), Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (for a month), and recently my acupuncturist switched An Mian Tang with Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan because I had dizziness and headaches with An Mian Tang.

I think some time when I was taking Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, I noticed that all my ten finger tips started turning pink/red, my left thumb and index seemed very sensitive to touch (the same feeling like I have a light burn).  I asked my accupuntist but he was unclear.  He gave me a couple points on the thumb and index tips which were pretty strong but it didn't help much. Is it possible that one of the herbal medicine caused allergy or I am overtreated/mistreated?  I don't have any food allergy that I've known of and my diet is normal. When I've recently stopped taking the herbal pills all together and I can still see the finger tips are still slightly pink. 

Thanks,

Floyd


Comments

Chad Dupuis's picture

Side effects from patent

Side effects from patent medicines like those you are taking are extremely rare.  When they happen they are generally mild, like nausea, mild headache, etc.  Part of the reason these formulas have survived as long as they have is because of the tried and true aspects of them.  A formula like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, for example, has been recorded since the time before Christ and likely used much longer than that.  Along those lines allergic reactions are very very uncommon as well - not impossible - but very uncommon.

Now if you were being completely misdiagnosed (which is unlikely as anxiety w/tinnitus is pretty easy to properly diagnose as Kidney Yin Deficiency) I imagine strange things could happen.  With you, however, it is likely that one of two things (or both) is happening.  Vasoconstriction is a common issue with heigtened states of anxiety and yours may simply not be improved yet.  Or this could be entirely unrelated and more of a carpal tunnel/neck/shoulder tension issue.  Or a combination of both.  Either way it is extremely unlikely that this has anything to do with the herbal medicine except that they may temporarily change your bodies reaction to the underlying forces that are driving the anxiety. In other words your symptoms may change from panic attacks, for example, to hand and face numbness, or a million other things until the underlying factors improve to the point that that anxious energy doesn't need an outlet of some kind.

I am a little concerned that your practitioner is switching the formulas too often (but it's hard to judge not knowing all the specifics of your case).  I mention that only so that you understand most of these formulas that rebuild Kidney Yin take at least 3-9 months to make a deep dent.  You should improve before then anxiety wise, perhaps with the aid of stronger more directly "calming" formulas - but you should be expecting a much longer time frame herbally for a deep resolution of your symptoms.

feiwong's picture

Dear Chad, Thank you so much

Dear Chad,

Thank you so much for your letter.  I am too concerned a little that the TCM doctor (to be exact) is switching the formulas every time I tell him my new symptoms/reactions from previous treatments.

My next question is how long I should continue having these anxiety treatments before one can determine that's enough treatments? 

Initially, I had 2 treatments per week for the first 2 months.  The TCM doctor recommended having one treatment per week after I had experienced constant headaches and dizziness, and he started alternating treatments in the front and back sides.  I honestly don't know whether or not  he really has a specific treatment plan for my anxiety or he may see something that I should be treated entire body.  I still see him every Saturday but I don't know how to tell him and if I should find a new practioner or stick with him and continue taking hebal medicine for Kidney Yin Deficiency until I see some results.  For the record, I did feel great for a week after the first 15 treatments.

Floyd

Chad Dupuis's picture

It's very hard to generalize

It's very hard to generalize about treatment length particularly with psychological issues, however, most people should have a noticeable improvement after the first 3-10 weeks of treatment.  It may start slow in relative terms but it should be noticeable and should continue to get better as the months pass.  It's not uncommon to have to switch formulas as they can be more of a moving target at times, but initially it is usually better to give the body a consistent message.

I would think at this point if you have not improved, particularly with the anxiety symptoms, you should probably see someone else if you have that option.  No judgement on your current practitioner but sometimes a different take on things can really speed up the progress.

feiwong's picture

I appreciated your quick

I appreciated your quick responses!

I have no judgement on my current practitioner neither.  I admitted that his treatments did help my anxiety at some degree but not as much more as I hope it would be. I consider seeing different doctors to see if it speeds things up a little. 

Thanks so much again for your comments.  You have a great day!

Floyd