Character profile: Kou Qiuai, a specially appointed expert in internal medicine at Dongcheng Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, chief physician, doctoral supervisor, academic successor of Professor Fang Dingya, and a target of the third batch of the National Training Program for Excellent Clinical Talents of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He has been engaged in clinical, scientific research and teaching work on rheumatism in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 30 years. He assisted his mentor in developing new traditional Chinese medicines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and obtained two national invention patents related to rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome. Specializing in the treatment of: rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, lupus erythematosus, SAPHO syndrome, immune dysfunction, etc.
“As the weather gets colder, more patients with rheumatoid arthritis seek medical treatment. This is because the cool weather affects the fluctuation of the condition and causes joint pain.” Kou Qiuai, a specially appointed expert at Dongcheng Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said that rheumatoid arthritis is a difficult disease. Even if the condition of these patients is controlled, they may still have joint pain. It may recur, so patients are generally reminded to undergo consolidation treatment every March and November when the seasons change.
Kou Qiuai’s analysis said: “The majority of patients with rheumatoid arthritis are women aged 30 to 60, who often present with symmetrical migratory swelling and pain in multiple joints; joint stiffness after resting that often lasts for more than half an hour; and poor grip strength. For early onset, if there is discomfort in the proximal interphalangeal joints, metacarpophalangeal joints, and wrist joints of both hands, accompanied by systemic symptoms such as fatigue, low-grade fever, and hair loss, you should be even more vigilant.”
Kou Qiuai studied under Professor Fang Dingya and inherited his teacher’s concept of “damp-heat toxin paralysis” in rheumatoid arthritis. After years of experience summarizing, Kou Qiuai pays more attention to “righting” in treatment. “Rheumatoid arthritis mostly has heat syndrome. When clinically treating the syndrome, you must carefully differentiate the syndrome, not only cold and heat, but also deficiency and excess. Only in this way can the diagnosis and treatment effect be achieved.” In terms of treatment, Kou Qiuai mostly focuses on clearing away heat and detoxifying, replenishing qi and nourishing blood. The Siwu Decoction, which is composed of honeysuckle, scrophulariaceae, angelica root, and licorice, is often combined with the Siwu Decoction, which is mainly composed of angelica root, Chuanxiong root, peony root, and rehmannia glutinosa root, in order to promote blood circulation and relieve pain.
“Some patients have misunderstandings about the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with traditional Chinese medicine. They think that traditional Chinese medicine only plays an auxiliary role and has a slow onset of effect.” Kou Qiuai explained, “Rheumatoid arthritis is a difficult disease that often has a long course and is difficult to cure. When it comes to cases like this, you have to abide by the rules and the law, and work hard for a long time.” She once treated a patient with rheumatoid arthritis who had a 36-year disease course. His left wrist joint was red, swollen, hot and painful, and his functions were severely limited. He chose traditional Chinese medicine treatment because of his allergic constitution. , it took 3 months of continuous medication to take effect, but the condition gradually improved after that. The patient vividly described it every time he returned for a follow-up visit: “I can clap my hands!” “I can do housework!” After 8 months of treatment, the function of the affected joints has improved. He recovered and was reexamined 18 months later. It was found that the bone destruction had basically not progressed compared to when he was first diagnosed and was under control. Kou Qiuai said: “So, when faced with a difficult disease like rheumatoid arthritis, doctors and patients must build confidence and overcome the difficulties together.”
What issues should patients with rheumatoid disease pay attention to in their daily lives? Kou Qiuai reminded that patients with rheumatoid disease should first pay attention to avoiding colds and fatigue in the affected joints; they should also try to avoid treatments related to moisture or heat to prevent moisture from entering the body.