Stomach and Spleen Qi Deficiency

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At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 脾胃气虚      Pinyin name: Pí Wèi Qì Xū

Pattern nature: Empty combined pattern

Pattern(s) it combines from: Spleen Qi Deficiency Stomach Qi Deficiency

Causes

Common causes: Diet and eating habits

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Tiredness Lassitude Weak Limbs Loose stools Poor appetite and four other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue description: Pale

Treatment

Treatment principle: Tonify Stomach and Spleen Qi

Common formulas: Si Jun Zi Tang Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

Pathology

It's very common for Stomach Qi Deficiency to be paired with Spleen Qi Deficiency since both Organs are so closely intertwined. The Stomach receives food and then sends the pure portion to the Spleen. Together they rule transportation of food essences.

Since they're the root of Grain Qi for the whole body, if Qi is deficient in those Organs, it ends up lacking everywhere. This is why fatigue is one of the main symptoms of this pattern.

It is also why patients feel a feeling of weakness of the limbs as the Stomach and Spleen are too weak to transport the food essences to the limbs.

The uncomfortable feeling in the epigastrium is due to Deficient Stomach Qi failing to descend. The fact it's a mere discomfort and not a feeling of pain is indicative that this is a Deficiency condition and not an Excess one.

Causes

Diet and eating habits: A diet lacking in nourishment and protein or undereating can cause a Deficiency of Spleen and Stomach Qi. Bad eating habits like having meals at irregular times, eating on the go or while working or stressed can also cause this pattern.

Diagnosing Stomach and Spleen Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue description: Pale

Main symptoms: Tiredness Lassitude Weak Limbs Loose stools Poor appetite Lack of taste Pale complexion Epigastrium discomfort Slight abdominal distension after eating

Diagnosis commentary: Poor appetite, epigastric discomfort and tiredness are enough in and of themselves to diagnose Stomach and Spleen Qi Deficiency.

Treating Stomach and Spleen Qi Deficiency

Treatment principle

Tonify Stomach and Spleen Qi

Herbal formulas used to treat Stomach and Spleen Qi Deficiency

Si Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Formula summary

Si Jun Zi Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi.

Besides Stomach and Spleen Qi Deficiency, Si Jun Zi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Stomach Qi Deficiency.

Read more about Si Jun Zi Tang

Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Augments the Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Leaches out Dampness. Stops diarrhea.

Formula summary

Shen Ling Bai Zhu San is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi.

Besides Stomach and Spleen Qi Deficiency, Shen Ling Bai Zhu San is also used to treat Small Intestine Deficient and Cold or Stomach and Spleen Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

Diet recommendations

Eat only cooked foods (nothing raw). Particularly beneficial ingredients include: rice, millet, meat (especially beef), winter squash, vegetables, azuki beans, congee and warm or room temperature drinks such as warm milk.

Avoid cold, raw vegetables and fruits, juices, iced drinks, ice cream and frozen yogurt, salads, uncooked foods and the excessive use of sugar and other sweeteners.

Avoid strenuous exercise. Favor light activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, swimming, walking or bicycling.