Gastroptosis according to Chinese Medicine

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In Chinese Medicine, gastroptosis can be associated with four so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease", as a matter of fact here gastroptosis can be caused by four different patterns.

To understand whether someone's gastroptosis might be caused by a given pattern, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from gastroptosis alone. For instance when gastroptosis is caused by the pattern Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency, patients also experience symptoms such as dizziness, unsteadiness, blurred vision and deafness. Similarly, patients with Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency typically exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

We've listed below a description of the four patterns associated with gastroptosis so that you can start to get an understanding of the various possibilities according to Chinese Medicine.

Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below three formulas that can help treat the various patterns associated with gastroptosis, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The four "patterns of disharmony" associated with gastroptosis

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine

Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Symptoms: Deafness Tinnitus Dizziness Weak voice Unsteadiness Loose stools Poor appetite Blurred vision Pale complexion Shortness of breath

Gastroptosis might be due to Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as dizziness, unsteadiness, blurred vision and deafness. Similarly, patients with Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency typically exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Read more about Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency here

Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) is the key herb for Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a formula used for Qi Deficiency Fever

Qi Deficiency Fever

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Recommended herbal formula: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Symptoms: Aversion to cold Spontaneous sweating Thirst for warm drinks Intermittent fever that worsens upon exertion

Gastroptosis might be due to Qi Deficiency Fever if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as intermittent fever that worsens upon exertion, spontaneous sweating, aversion to cold and thirst for warm drinks. Similarly, patients with Qi Deficiency Fever typically exhibit empty (Xu) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Read more about Qi Deficiency Fever here

The Stomach is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Stomach in Chinese Medicine

Stomach Qi Deficiency with Phelgm

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Recommended herbal formula: Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang

Symptoms: Hiccuping Regurgitation Nausea or vomiting Unremitting belching Hard epigastric focal distention

Gastroptosis might be due to Stomach Qi Deficiency with Phelgm if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as unremitting belching, hiccuping, regurgitation and nausea or vomiting. Similarly, patients with Stomach Qi Deficiency with Phelgm typically exhibit empty (Xu) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.

Read more about Stomach Qi Deficiency with Phelgm here

Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Soggy (Ru), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Recommended herbal formula: Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang

Symptoms: Palpitations Dizziness or vertigo

Gastroptosis might be due to Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as palpitations and dizziness or vertigo. Similarly, patients with Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium typically exhibit slippery (Hua), soggy (Ru) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thick white coating.

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium here

The three herbal formulas that might help with gastroptosis

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Why might Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang help with gastroptosis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency and Qi Deficiency Fever which are sometimes associated with gastroptosis. If any of these patterns look like something you might suffer from, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang here

Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Regulates the downward flow of Stomach Qi. Expectorant, treats hiccups.

Why might Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang help with gastroptosis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Stomach Qi Deficiency with Phelgm, a pattern sometimes associated with gastroptosis. If it looks like you might suffer from Stomach Qi Deficiency with Phelgm, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang here

Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Warms and transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Strengthens the Spleen. Resolves Dampness.

Why might Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang help with gastroptosis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium, a pattern sometimes associated with gastroptosis. If it looks like you might suffer from Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang here