Diarrhea - Basics
Diarrhea occurs when an individual passes loose, watery stool. Acute diarrhea can last for 1-2 days, and resolve itself without medication, while chronic diarrhea can be an indicator of an underlying chronic condition. There are many causes of diarrhea, including parasites, food intolerances, reaction to medicines, intestinal disease, bacterial or viral infection, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Diarrhea.
Diarrhea - Diagnostic Patterns
The Chinese Medicine treatment of diarrhea generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).
The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of diarrhea:
Diarrhea - Acupuncture Protocols
The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.
The following Acupuncture Treatment Protocols May Be Used With Diarrhea
Diarrhea - Formulas From Our Store
The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating diarrhea. For a complete list from our store with more details see our diarrhea formula section.
Diarrhea - Questions
Need treatment options for diarrhea and not finding the information you need?
Using our forums our staff and our community may offer guidance with regards to the treatment of diarrhea.
Diarrhea - Related Acupuncture Points
The following (23) acupuncture points may be useful for diarrhea. A subset of these could potentially be useful with acupressure stimulation and/or tongren therapy methods as well.
Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)
Diarrhea - Related Chinese Herbs
The following (27) chinese herbs may be useful for diarrhea. In most cases, however, treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine is done with herbal formulas based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting herbs by function alone. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.
Herbal Medicine Blog Posts
The following (13) Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Diarrhea
- Protect and Relieve Pills
- Cramping and/or painful distension of the abdomen.
- Foul smelling belching or gas with diarrhea due to heat in the intestine.
- May alleviate some hangover symptoms.
- Also useful to treat food poisoning.
- Clear Heat
- Clear Heat From The Organs
- Aconite Regulate Middle Pills
- Spleen yang deficiency resulting in coldness of the limbs and/or interior, borborygmus, and possible loose stools or diarrhea.
- Feeling full even with small amounts of food, bloating, epigastric/abdominal pain, possible decrease in appetite.
- Vomitting and nausea especially if it occurs shortly after eating.
- Warm Interior Cold
- Warm the Middle and Dispel Cold
- Agastache Powder to Correct the Qi
- Acute flu or cold symptoms including fever, aversion to cold, headaches, sinus pressure, runny nose.
- Vomitting and diarrhea from interior damp with possible abdominal cramps or pains.
- Expel Dampness
- Transform Damp Turbidity
- Not suitable for patients that present with yin and/or blood deficiency.
- Clear Summer Heat and Augment the Qi
- Please note that there are two formulas with the same name but slightly different compositions. One is from Wang's Wen Re Jing Wei and tonifies the yin more strongly, the other (which is the one discussed here) is from Li's Pi Wei Lun (Discussion of the Spleen and Stomach) and tonifies the spleen more strongly. Both have similar usages but are not directly interchangeable.
- Clears summerheat and dries dampness - summer colds and flus, heatstroke - fever, fatigue, excessive sweating with loose stools and heaviness in the body.
- Along with respiratory infections in the right cases certain types of asthma may be appropriate for this formula.
- Dampheat related inflammatory condtions such as Colitis are approprirate with the right underlying factors.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with symptoms of spleen deficiency and heat.
- Wtih the right underlying factors the range of perimenopausal symptoms may be appropriate - low libido, fatigue, water retention, fibroids, heavy cycles. Where this appear with spleen qi deficiency signs and kidney weakness, this formula may be appropriate.
- Clear Heat
- Relieve Summerheat
- Ginseng, Poria & Atractylodes Pills
- Diarrhea, loose stools, or mucus/greasy stools from damp accumulation in the spleen/stomach.
- Borborygmus, low appetite, fatigue, and/or pale complexion resulting from spleen qi deficiency.
- Colitis, IBS, gastritis, and other types of gastro intenstinal disorders where the predominant TCM pattern is spleen qi deficiency and damp accumulation.
- Tonify the Qi
- Use with caution during pregnancy.
- Use with caution with patients that present with yin deficiency.
- Frigid Extremities Formula
- Aversion to cold, very cold limbs, sensations of deep cold, fatigue, lethary resulting from kidney yang deficiency.
- Diarrhea with undigested food, vomiting, abdominal pain.
- Warm Interior Cold
- Rescue Devastated Yang
- Mume Fruit Pill
Generally used with roundworms - abdominal pain, irritability, stifled chest w/heat, vomiting after eating, cold hands and/or feet. Roundworms may be observed in vomit.
Also has a broader application in chronic diarrhea, IBS, or other digestive disorders characterized by both heat and cold. Symptoms may be chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain (often that is better w/heat).
With parasites the tongue and pulse are less critical, with chronic conditions the Tongue may be red with a white coating.
- Expel Parasites
- Aucklandia, Amomi & Six Gentlemen Pills
- A modified version of the base, zhi zhu wan, which is used to treat qi stagnation and food retention from qi deficiency. This modification includes herbs which add more movement and damp drying.
- Distention and fullness in the epigastric area - bloating, indigestion, gastritis, gastric prolapse.
- Poor appetite (from Spleen Qi Deficiency), anorexia.
- Tonify the Qi
- Avoid raw and cold food when taking this formula (and generally for Spleen Qi Deficiency).
- Drain the Epigastrium Formula
Signs of damp-heat with interior clumping which may settle into the abdominal region and/or rise upward to the head. Fever, irritability, red eyes, constipation, dark urine, flushed face - middle warmer issues - jaundice, dysentery, tongue/mouth ulcers.
Pulse will be be wiry and rapid and the Tongue will be red, swollen with a yellow greasy tongue coating.
- Clear Heat
- Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity
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