Estimated read time... 4 minutes

If you’ve been following along the previous four parts of the Hashimoto’s series, you’ll know we’ve been on quite the journey!

We started with a discussion of what Hashimoto’s is in the physiological-modern medicine and TCM bodies, what it feels like from a lived experience, and what the symptoms of Hashi’s are.

Now, we move on to discussing the most common TCM patterns associated with Hashimoto’s.

Note that while I have five TCM patterns listed, there are many many more variables to consider. This is by no means an exhaustive list or discussion of the topic.

Most people with complex, chronic health conditions have multiple patterns of imbalance at any one time.

In other words: there is no magical, one-answer-for-your-ills.


You have no idea how much I wish it were otherwise. But I guess this is what it means to be human. (Shrugs.)

The below list may seem overwhelming to someone not trained in this medicine. Heck, it is often overwhelming for people trained in this medicine to tease out what the root-cause issues are. (It’s taken me many years to get to the bottom of what is going on with me, and I still continue to deepen my learning and understanding.)

If you’re attempting to DIY this: Use this information to guide your own path. Then, if you are still struggling and suffering after three months, please outsource and get someone who is trained and comfortable working with complex health issues.

Doing it yourself is so great. I’m a big fan of taking your health and health journey into your own hands. It is what this “wellness business” is all about!  You learn so much and gain a lot of tools and confidence.

And, having a knowledgeable guide/teacher/practitioner is also important because they have a different perspective and different tools to offer, reminders, coaching, cheerleading, so much.


Let’s get started…

Did you put together your list of symptoms after the last post?
Get that list out now.
Read the below post, print it out and highlight all of your symptoms across these five patterns. (Or however you best integrate this kind of information…)

You’ll notice that one or two patterns have way more symptoms highlighted than others.

What are those patterns?

You’ll see Spleen Qi Deficiency in all of the patterns listed. That’s because it is the baseline whenever there is a thyroid issue.

Yet… you can be Spleen Qi Deficient AND have another key (or root) pattern and cause underlying your issue.

Thus, working with just the Spleen Qi (which many practitioners do!!!), won’t get you as far as digging a bit deeper…

Okay, so say you have Spleen Qi Deficiency and Dampness AND Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency. Guess what?! Both of those patterns can be addressed simultaneously!

Or, say you see Spleen Qi Deficiency with Phlegm AND Spleen Qi Deficiency and Liver Qi Stagnation? Guess what?! We can 100% work with that from a dietary DIY perspective.

And we will.

But first thing’s first: figure out what your patterns are.

The Patterns

Here are the core symptoms of Spleen Qi Deficiency:

Fatigue, weight gain, sleepiness, loose stools, paleness, and a sense of being cold.  Your tongue might be pale in color, and have teeth marks on the sides.

I cannot tell you how often me, and my clients, have been treated by other practitioners for this pattern: Spleen Qi Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation.

This is a very common pattern presentation, and the one most practitioners will start working with.

When you have Spleen Qi Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation you’ll experience:

Fatigue, depression, panic, “plum pit qi” (a feeling like something’s stuck in the throat, like you are always needing to clear your throat, or there is constant phlegm there), weight gain, PMS/menstrual irregularities. You may have alternating loose stools and overly firm ones (or constipation).

Spleen Qi Deficiency with Dampness is a pattern that you may experience if you’ve been suffering for a while with Hashi’s. This is usually when doctors start to take you more seriously, as you complain abou the weight gain and feeling weak despite all the great exercise you’re doing.

Feeling that the body is heavy and possibly weak, no stamina, weight gain, there is also edema of the skin (hands, feet and lower legs, eyelids).  Drinking water to relieve thirst, but thirst not being relieved. You are probably someone who, whenever you drink water, you tend to pee it right out. Not only that, your pee tends to be super light in color after your first pee of the day.

Spleen Qi Deficiency with Phlegm is a more advanced form of Dampness, as the excess fluid (Damp) has congealed into what is called Phlegm.

When I work with clients with complex, chronic issues, this is the most common pattern that I see.

Note that this is not the most commonly treated pattern by most practitioners – just because you are treated for Spleen Qi Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation doesn’t mean that that is the actual cause of your problems! 😉

I can give you a loooong list of practitioners who treated me for everything but Spleen Qi Deficiency with Phlegm, and only one who did. Guess who made the most difference? That’s right, the one who saw the Phlegm and did something about it!

This is generally the same presentation as Spleen Qi Deficiency with Dampness, but there may be goitre or the presences of nodules on the thyroid. These nodules are diagnosed through palpation or an ultrasound, by your doctor.

You may also experience problems with fogginess of the brain, erratic thoughts (you feel like you are all over the place), heart palpitations, memory and recall issues, and insomnia.

You may have chronic stuffiness of the sinuses, post-nasal drip, phlegm/mucus (especially in the morning), plum-pit qi (feeling of phlegm in the throat, that’s stuck and won’t dislodge).

Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency – burr!

In this presentation, you may have diarrhea in the morning, an intolerance to the cold (don’t like cold weather, cold food, cold drinks, cold environments, being cold), you have cold hands/feet/limbs. You will also be tired and fatigued a lot, and suffer with weight gain that you cannot seem to lose. Notice here that the big word is COLD.

In the next post, we’ll begin exploring how to EAT when you have these types of issues.

(Spoiler alert: a LOT of info that is out there for “autoimmune diets” is not technically correct from an energetic perspective for most of these issues. Duhn duhn duuuuuuuuuuhn….)