Stomach Yin Deficiency

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 胃阴虚      Pinyin name: Wèi Yīn Xū

Pattern nature: Empty

Pattern hierarchy: Specific pattern under Yin Deficiency

Common combinations: Stomach and Spleen Yin Deficiency

Causes

Precursor patterns: Stomach Heat or Fire Kidney Yin Deficiency Stomach Qi Deficiency and four other possible precursors

Common causes: 1. Diet, 2. Chronic diseases, 3. High fever, 4. Drugs, 5. Weak constitution

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: No desire to eat Desire to drink in small sips Slight feeling of fullness after eating

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Normal color with rootless coating or without coating in the center

Treatment

Treatment principle: Nourish Stomach Yin, nourish Body Fluids.

Common formulas: Mai Men Dong Tang Yi Wei Tang Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

Pathology

The Stomach is responsible for receiving foods and drinks, ripening them and sending them to the Spleen for further digestion. Therefore, the Stomach is the origin of Body Fluids. It is also an Organ that likes Cold and Dampness which are both Yin characteristics. Stomach Yin Deficiency harms this functions and cause Dryness and Heat. As a result, symptoms such as thirst, dry stools, dry mouth and dry throat appear. It also cause the tongue coating to fall off. 

Due to lack of Body Fluids, there is constipation with dry stools. Retching and hiccups may also occur as Stomach's Qi downward function is impaired. 

If the Yin Deficiency situation last for a long period of time, it can potentially develop Empty-Heat. It's typical manifestations are often quite mild and appears only in the afternoon or evening, such the mild fever or feeling of heat. The patients experiences thirst or hunger but there is no desire to drink or eat, or they only drink in small sips. They also prefer warm liquids and their appetite is poor.

Causes

Precursor patterns: Stomach Yin Deficiency can derive from Stomach Heat or Fire Kidney Yin Deficiency Stomach Qi Deficiency Stomach Deficient and Cold Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach Heat in the Large Intestine Large Intestine Dryness

Diet: Unbalanced diet and bad eating habits are the major reasons for this pattern. The patients may often consume spicy and acrid foods, which deplete Stomach Fluids and Yin. Prolonged irregular eating habits also have similar negative impact, such as eating on the run, skipping meals, eating while working, having late meals or working right after eating.

Chronic diseases: Chronic Stomach disease can consume Stomach Yin.

High fever: A high fever due to an infectious disease can lead to  Stomach Yin Deficiency. However, it is usually acute and temporary. The Yin level normally reverses back after a few days or weeks. However, it may also last for a long period of time.

Drugs: Both Stomach Qi and Yin can be harmed by drugs like antibiotics, which causes the tongue coating to disappear. This situation is usually temporary, as the Yin level is normally back to its original level after stopping the drugs.

Weak constitution: For some young people, teenagers and even children, Stomach Yin Deficiency may be a constitutional pattern.

Diagnosing Stomach Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu) or floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Normal color with rootless coating or without coating in the center

Main symptoms: No desire to eat Desire to drink in small sips Slight feeling of fullness after eating

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the absence of coating in the center of the tongue.

Treating Stomach Yin Deficiency

Treatment principle

Nourish Stomach Yin, nourish Body Fluids.

Herbal formulas used to treat Stomach Yin Deficiency

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

Read more about Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

Mai Men Dong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Stomach. Generates Body Fluids. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Formula summary

Mai Men Dong Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that enrich Yin and moisten Dryness.

Besides Stomach Yin Deficiency, Mai Men Dong Tang is also used to treat Lung Yin Deficiency or Stomach Deficiency.

Read more about Mai Men Dong Tang

Yi Wei Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Strengthen the Stomach. Creates Body Fluids.

Formula summary

Yi Wei Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Read more about Yi Wei Tang

Diet recommendations

Unhealthy eating habit is often responsible for Stomach Yin Deficiency, such as late dinner, skipping meals, short and hectic lunch, working while eating, back to work right after eating.

Also the overconsumption of spicy and acrid food may also lead to this pattern.

Related conditions

Chronic gastritis Peptic ulcers Hypertension Chronic bronchitis Asthma Pneumonia Pertussis Bronchiectasis Diabetes Laryngitis Lung atrophy Acute bronchitis Reactive lymphoid hyperplasia Radiation therapy side effects

Consequence patterns

Lung Dryness

Stomach Yin Deficiency is the pattern most likely to happen before Lung Dryness. 

Kidney Yin Deficiency

If Stomach Yin Deficiency lasts for a long time without being properly treated, it can cause Yin Deficiency of other Organs, especially the Kidneys. 

Lung Yin Deficiency

Lung Yin Deficiency is often associated with Stomach Yin Deficiency, which is often caused by an irregular diet, such as eating late at night, or eating in a hurry.