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ESRD Joint Pain and Han Fang Ji

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) and joint pain are linked, as one of the many complications of late kidney failure is persistent joint pain that can adversely affect quality of life.

This joint pain is often overlooked, as there may be other, more pressing ESRD complications for physicians to consider. In patients with ESRD-caused joint pain, though, Chinese medicine offers potential solutions. One potential solution is Han Fang Ji, an herb that can resolve pain and improve renal function in some people.

How Does Chinese Medicine Explain ESRD Joint Pain?

Western medicine has proposed several causes for ESRD joint pain. For example, higher amounts of uric acid in the body have been associated with increased joint pain.

Chinese medicine takes a different perspective on ESRD-caused joint pain. Specifically, it attributes pain to fluid accumulation, a pathological state termed “dampness” among practitioners.

In people with dampness, disrupted fluid metabolization – such as that caused by renal disease – can lead to fluid accumulation in various parts of the body. If this accumulation presses into the joints, it can cause pain. In most cases, this fluid won’t be obviously visible, but edema at the microscopic scale can also produce joint pain.

How Han Fang Ji Can Help People with ESRD Joint Pain

Han Fang Ji is a cold herb that’s closely associated with treating the spleen and resolving dampness. When administered, it enters the spleen, kidney and bladder channels, where it improves fluid metabolism and eliminates excess fluid from the body. This can resolve edema and fluid accumulation in the joints, improving pain and stiffness for those suffering from ESRD.

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