Yin deficiency symptoms – chinese medicine diagnostic

Yin is, as understood in Chinese medicine, responsible for organic liquids and anchor the yang. If Yin becames weak then we assist to an increase of Yang in the way that a clinical pattern of yin deficiency will be characterized by the following symptoms:

1. Agitation: a person can not be quiet, feel more agitated than normal because there is the rise of yang. Agitation can be internal or external and divided into 2 aspects: physical and/or mental. If the yin deficiency affects the liver symptoms of irritability can occur.

2. Insomnia: This symptom can be characterized by an initial difficulty in falling asleep (blood deficiency), waking up repeatedly during the night (yin deficiency), or waking too early without feeling you have rested enough and unable to go back to sleep . Yin represents night and reassembles during the night. With yin deficiency, there is an increase of yang that make it difficult to sleep the patient causing insomnia. The characteristics of insomnia duo to Yin deficiency are characterized by waking up several times during the night, and difficulty sleeping a feature of blood deficiency (in the Portuguese blog I have developed a discussion because several professionals call my attention to the fact that diferente school´s are saying diferente things. In the future I will translat that article for this blog).

3. Heat: is a complex of symptoms exactly symmetrical cold complex symptoms such as warm hands and feet, warm feeling in the body, worsening with exposure to heat, heat intolerance. The decrease of yin leads to an increase in body heat, particularly the hands and feet. It is often argued that the patient could not sleep well and had to put out there feet outside the blanket.

4. Afternoon fever: an increase in body temperature, with the development of fever, the evening is an indication of yin deficiency and is a very common symptom that can be detected on the thermometer. The person with yin deficiency will suffer an increase in temperature as the day goes, contrary to yang deficiency where the temperature of the person tends to fall throughout the day.

5. Night sweats: loss of body fluids during the night indicates a yin deficiency pattern. It is considered a symptom of heat. The yin deficiency stimulates yang hyperactivity that yin can not control. As such the fluids are taken by Yang to the outside world being driven off as sweat. There is also the importance of this association with other symptoms such as feeling hot, physical and mental agitation, insomnia, etc …

6. Dry mouth and throat: a lack of yin to moisten the body end up causing a sensation of thirst and impression of dry mouth and throat. In more severe cases may be the desire to drink cold liquids but in small quantities. When dryness symptoms are accompanied with mucosal lesion with desire to drink cold drinks in quantity and an aversion to hot drinks it is assumed that there was a pattern of fullness heat.

7. dark urine and in small quantities is common when there is yin deficiency affecting the kidneys. Constipation is also a symptom of Yin deficiency.

8. Red face: a sign of heat that both exist in a yin deficiency pattern as in other heat patterns like wind-heat and damp-heat.

9. Red tongue: it arises in situations of yin deficiency and fullness heat, however, the yin deficiency does not have tongue coating and in patterns of fullness heat there is coated tongue with yellow fur.

10. Fine pulse, shallow and fast: the fine pulse is indicative of a deficiency pattern, while the features, fast and shallow, indicate a condition of heat. The characteristic shallow, does not indicate, in this case, the location of the nature of the disease. Because yin is weakened, yang tends to come up to the surface. Care is needed in the assessment of cases. for example, a flu, which is a penetration of wind-cold, tends to have a superficial pulse. This happens because the Wei Qi (defensive Qi) swells to the surface to fight the cold and the pulse feels superficial.


  1. DIFERENT and TRANSLAT THESE 2 mis-spelled words diminish your credibility.

    The characteristics of insomnia duo to Yin deficiency are characterized by waking up several times during the night, and difficulty sleeping a feature of blood deficiency (in the Portuguese blog I have developed a discussion because several professionals call my attention to the fact that diferente school´s are saying diferente things. In the future I will translat that article for this blog).

  2. nuno lemos says:

    Great to know that 2 miss-spelled words diminish my credibility.
    So what about the article content? Is it wrong? Do you really want to discuss something? 
    I imagine that due to the fact that probably you don´t speak or write portuguese you will not have any kind of credibility in portuguese speaking country´s? What about zulu?

    Beste regards

  3. I love your blog. As a beginning TCM/acupuncture student, I understand your clear explanations and easy to follow discussions. thank you!

  4. Thanks so much for posting I really appreciate it.

  5. Hi, I have been going to a chinese medicine man for a while and he tells me I have a yin deficiency and I do have most of those symptoms, very interesting

  6. Thanks much! Great insight (despite the so-called misspellings :) I have no misgivings!

  7. Lisa wood says:

    I wanted to address the idea of insomnia is this article about yin xu. it’s important to note the blood is yin by nature as qi is yang in nature. In respect to this it stands to reason that all insomnia cases have some component of yin xu in it. I like how this article covers that aspect. There of course are exceptions to this rule but in practice this is what I have discovered.

  8. Thanks. Can you elaborate on kidney, liver, spleen deficiency symptoms and points to restore their normal levels?

  9. nuno lemos says:

    Hello Paz
    I will write with more detail about that. However I can give some points relevant for those organs:
    SPLEEN: points like SP2, SP3 and SP4 are importante tonics. SP6 is probably the most used.
    KIDNEY: KD3, KD6, KD7 are importante acupoints. You can associate them with local acupoints like KD11 for urinary problems. For kidney and lung ytin deficiency you can use KD4 eith KD27/KD21.
    LIVER: LV2 is importante to eliminate heat from deficiency. LV3 and LV8 can be used to tonify liver.

  10. Heather says:

    Thank you kindly for the information on Yin deficiency! I see an amazing Dr in TCM and she refers to me as having a Yin deficiency. She has taken time to talk about this subject but I have a poor memory when it comes to certain things. Retaining such specific info is easier for me when written. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge especially in thisnformat. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    Thanks again-Love and Light,

  11. Thanks, Nuno!
    It helps me a lot to understand it and also I appreciate the simpler
    way to explain it,
    Peace :-)

  12. matthew says:

    I have had sleeping problems for several years, including, recently, that I wake up very hot and have to cool myself by placing ice packs under towels. I would like to know what I can do to restore the Yin imbalance is seems like I have acquire.

  13. Sue Edwards says:

    I have started acupuncture and love it. I am having left foot pain from wearing Reebok shoes that were recalled and pulled my tendon way too far. I have always been athletic. I am 58 and now am feeling joint pain. It moves and swells. I am taking gu ci Xiao tong pian and have shexiang zhuanggu gao pads that are fantastic. I suffer from scalp psoriasis which goes with rheumatoid arthritis. My grandmother had the arthritis but no psoriasis. I have topical Chinese creams for the scalp. I don’t like taking medicine internally because I don’t want to ruin my organs. Any other suggestions? Right now I can’t walk long distances which breaks my heart because I love walking very far and often. Please check out http://www.jw.org for spiritual inspiration because Jehovah God said we would see a big increase in diseases in the last days! Thanks for your interesting blog.

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