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Differentiating Syndromes of the Stomach

Loss and deficiency of stomach yin

Dryness of the mouth and throat, stomach-ache and hunger without desire to eat, dry stool, red tongue proper with scanty fluid, thready and rapid pulse.

Insufficiency of stomach yin makes the body fluid fail to support the upper organs, causing dryness of the mouth and throat. Insufficiency of stomach fluid leads to the dysfunction of stomach reception manifested by hunger without desire to eat. Deficiency of stomach yin also gives rise to the disturbances of xu fire, manifesting as stomach pain. Insufficiency of stomach yin causes dry stool. Red tongue proper with scanty fluid and a thready rapid pulse are signs of yin deficiency producing heat.

Preponderance of stomach fire

Burning pain of the epigastric region, vomiting, nausea, acid regurgitation, constipation, thirst with preference for cold drinks, swelling, pain, ulceration and bleeding of the gums, hunger with excessive eating, foul breath, red tongue proper with yellow coating, slippery and rapid pulse.

Accumulation of heat in the stomach leads to a dysfunction of qi activities resulting in a burning pain of the epigastrium. Preponderance of heat in the stomach consumes the yin of the stomach causing thirst with a preference for cold drinks. Since pathogenic fire accelerates food, there is hunger with excessive eating. Branches of the stomach channel travel up to the gum, therefore when pathogenic stomach heat flows upward, it causes welling, pain, ulceration and bleeding of the gums. An accumulation of stomach heat leading to a dysfunction of stomach qi descent causes foul breath, vomiting, nausea, and acid regurgitation. A red tongue proper with yellow coating and a slippery rapid pulse are signs of stomach heat.

Retention of Food in the Stomach

Distension or pain in the epigastrium, foul belching, acid regurgitation, no desire to eat, vomiting, abnormal bowel movements, diarrhea or constipation, thick sticky tongue coating, and slippery pulse.

Retention of blood in the stomach blocks the qi activities of the middle jiao, so there is distension or pain in the epigastrium. Foul belching, acid regurgitation, no desire to eat, and vomiting are caused by a dysfunction of stomach qi descent, which then causes the upward flow of turbid qi. Retention of food in the stomach affects the transportation and transformation functions of the spleen, producing abnormal bowel movements, i.e., diarrhea or constipation. A thick sticky tongue coating and a slippery pulse are signs of food retention.

Related Subjects

Read more on description of the main syndromes of other zang-fu organs: Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lung, Kidney, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Urinary Bladder, and Gall Bladder.
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