Cold Phlegm Syndrome, also known as Cold-Tan Syndrome, refers to a condition where cold qi and phlegm dampness combine, obstructing the lungs and giving rise to a series of symptoms. The formation of Cold Phlegm Syndrome can occur due to the presence of pre-existing phlegm dampness combined with an invasion of external cold pathogenic factors, or due to weakened yang qi resulting in cold conditions, poor fluid circulation leading to the interaction between cold and phlegm dampness.
Cold Phlegm Syndrome is commonly observed in individuals with weakened yang qi. Elderly individuals are more susceptible to experiencing Cold Phlegm Syndrome. Throughout the year, the dominance of cold pathogenic factors during the winter season, both internally and externally, makes Cold Phlegm Syndrome more prone to occur or worsen in winter. Within a single day, the symptoms of Cold Phlegm Syndrome often worsen during the nighttime.
In the progression of the disease, Cold Phlegm Syndrome tends to be accompanied by two patterns: spleen yang deficiency and kidney yang deficiency. The spleen is responsible for transforming and transporting fluids, and in ancient times, it was said that “the spleen is the source of phlegm production.” If spleen yang is deficient, phlegm tends to form, and the stagnation of phlegm dampness can further impair spleen yang. Common manifestations of spleen yang deficiency include poor appetite, abdominal distension that improves with warm and massage, lack of warmth in the limbs, loose stools, pale and tender tongue body, white and greasy tongue coating, and a deep, weak pulse. Kidney yang is the foundation of overall yang qi in the body and has the function of evaporating fluids. If kidney yang is deficient, it cannot effectively warm and transform fluids, resulting in fluid retention. This can lead to the formation of phlegm and the obstruction of cold phlegm, simultaneously damaging kidney yang. Common manifestations of kidney yang deficiency include sore and weak lower back and knees, cold sensation in the limbs, dizziness, tinnitus, pale tongue coating, and a deep, weak pulse.