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Health Education Articles

Emotional Lability from Stroke

By Kimberly Guorong Du

Labile means "open to change or unstable". Here means emotional instability". This emotional response comes "out of nowhere". And many stroke survivors suffer from these symptoms. These survivors understand this problem, but they just can't help it whenever it occurs. This further hurt their quality of life in addition to their hemiplegia or aphasia problem.

It is very embarrassing when a stroke survivor laughs at news of a loved one's troubles or illness, or cries over nothing, or at a quite serious moment he or she suddenly laughs or cries. Many stroke patients also report labile anger and frustration. Patients say that they get anger easily. All above symptoms caused misunderstandings between patients and their family members or friends. This problem even made them distance from people. It is not only difficult for the patients themselves, it is also tough for the families.

Patients suffering multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease that cause damage in lower areas of the brain encounter the same problem with stroke survivors.

So far, there is no FDA-approved drug to counteract the emotional lability problem. Conventional doctors do prescribe anti-depressant drugs with some success. But emotional lability is truly different from depression. That's why many patients still suffer from it.

The good news is most emotional labilty patients can be treated by acupuncture treatment while treating their mobility problems. Actually this is not the news in China. Traditional Chinese Medicine usually blames those lability symptom on "liver" or "lung" problem. According to Chinese medical theory, the channels and network vessels are pathways that carry chi, blood, and fluids around the body. They are the communication lines between all parts of the organism. The channels move blood and chi and ensure the free flow of yin and yang, so the body is properly nourished. This means that the functionality of the whole body rely on the communication through the channels, otherwise comes the illness. If the communication is not smooth, illness will come. When an illness occurs, we use acupuncture needles or moxa on the acupoints to lead the channels or meridians to communicate again.

Therefore, the right ways for treating post-stroke symptoms are not only focusing on paralysis. We need to pay very much attention on adjusting organs and channels or meridians. "Wind stroke" mostly sick on the "liver", but if not fixing "spleen", "kidney", "lung", "triple burner" and "pericardium", "liver" problem can not be adjusted. Also this illness has many channels or meridians pathologic changes, needs a great adjustment for the whole body as we reorganizing and forming an integrated, unified organism. When a person's harmony inside his or her body is being restored, all problems will be solved.