Kidney Deficiency: which symptoms show that your Kidney function is weak?

Kidney Deficiency: which symptoms show that your Kidney function is weak?

The Kidneys are very important organs for the body according to traditional Chinese medicine. They are located on both sides of your lower back.

This article introduces the Chinese medicine theory of the Kidney organ system and what Chinese medicine practitioners look for when diagnosing a Kidney Deficiency syndrome.

How does Chinese medicine view the Kidneys?

Chinese medicine regards the Kidneys like the roots of a tree. Functionally, they are in charge of growth and development, reproduction and circulation, especially for the lower part of the body. They also contain the original essence to support the body throughout a person’s entire life.

In traditional Chinese culture, looking after the health of your Kidneys especially as you age is the key to enjoying a long and healthy life.

Which symptoms are related to a weak Kidney function?

The following symptoms often occur when the Kidney organ is weak…

  • Lower back weakness and pain, especially after prolonged work, sitting, standing or walking.
  • Chronic pain in the knee, ankle and soles of the feet.
  • Frequent urination, day or night.
  • Insomnia, waking frequently throughout the night or waking up early.
  • Lack of energy, fatigue, poor memory and concentration.
  • For men, low libido and impotence.
  • For women, low libido, early or prolonged menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweating, dry skin.
  • Delayed periods longer than 30 days, together with PCOS (delayed or no periods), endometriosis and/or fertility issues.

Please note: the above symptoms are related to the Chinese medicine diagnosis of Kidney deficiency. It is possible to have many of these symptoms even though your western medicine kidney function test is normal.

For most people, the Kidneys will naturally decline in function to some degree in older age, therefore, it should not be surprising that many of the symptoms above are more commonly experienced by seniors. However, these symptoms can be improved by strengthening your Kidney function through lifestyle, diet and Chinese medicine treatment.

A few ways to look after your kidneys

  • Protect and don’t overuse your lower back.
  • If your back is injured, seek treatment and fix the problem as soon as possible.
  • Avoid exposing your lower back, knees and soles to cold, for example sitting on cold and hard floors, walking barefoot.
  • Regulate your sexual activity, don’t over do it.
  • Avoid sitting, standing and walking for long periods of time, take regular breaks.
  • After labour or miscarriage, seek Chinese medicine treatment to rebalance the circulation in your lower back.

Which foods benefit the Kidneys?

You can eat the following foods more often to help build up your Kidney energy:

  • Goji berries
  • Beef or lamb bone soup
  • Prawns and scallops
  • Sea cucumber
  • Venison
  • Walnuts
  • Black beans
  • Chinese black mushrooms
  • Chives

If you experience many of the symptoms above and cannot get rid of them, don’t forget that Chinese medicine can help.


Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.

  • Camille

    Can’t the color of urine indicate something? Like I have cloudy pee usually before I start my period. And my husband and I are trying to concieve, when I first started getting it was when I started taking progesterone (about six months ago) to regulate my cycle and ovulate. I have always eaten by healthy traditional standards. 3-5 days a month I get cloudy pee. Some women have had the symptom before getting a positive pregnancy test. I haven’t gotten a positive test but I still have the cloudy pee.

    24 November, 2016