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Stomach Cold and Deficient is a syndrome in Chinese medicine that explains what happens when you either don’t eat enough protein or do eat too much cold food – though there are other causes.
It can be low-grade and chronic for years then lead on to more serious conditions. I’ve noticed it often in vegetarians who habitually eat only raw food such as fruits and salads. For them, a few small changes can often transform their health.
What are the symptoms and what can you do about it?
I’ve had this Stomach Cold and Deficient syndrome many times, so I know all about it! And I can tell you, it’s been my own fault each time! So I do know what to do.
Here are the typical symptoms, though after the main list I’ve added a few more, familiar to me and to patients who’ve had it too.
The main or most common symptoms are these – you’ll probably have quite a few of them:
Sorry, we’re not done yet! There are various other syndromes in Chinese medicine that often come with this, and may even lead to it.
The main ones are:
Apart from the four syndromes mentioned above, the most easily recognised two factors causing this Stomach Cold and Deficient syndrome are:
There are two parts to this. You could have one or both.
This comes down to Cold again. If Cold invades your Stomach you can get a syndrome, already mentioned, called Stomach Cold Invasion. That can lead on to a condition of chronic ‘Stomach Cold and Deficient’, the syndrome discussed on this page.
How might this Stomach Cold and Deficient syndrome happen? Here’s how it happened to me. My wife wanted to try Clay-Pigeon Shooting. If you don’t know what this is, it’s using a 12-bore shotgun to shoot clay discs that are hurled out by a machine. They fly a little like real pigeons and drop to the ground around 40 – 90 yards away unless your shot pulverises them.
So, on a mountain-side with occasional flurries of icy snow: freezing weather. A lot of standing around. I thought I was wearing enough but after three hours I suddenly got very cold, and even a warm whisky failed to heat me up. We then had to drive for three hours to get home, by when I was VERY cold indeed, even with the car’s heating on full.
I was shivering and with many of the symptoms set out above. This was during the Christmas holidays, and so I had to treat myself.
Eventually doing the sensible things, and taking the right herbs, got me better. But each time I get the syndrome it seems to last a little longer if I don’t catch it early. NB I hadn’t eaten anything cold that day or the previous few days, and until this happened had felt well.
So, if it can happen to me – and I’m supposed to know something about it! – it can happen to you.
(Actually, this is somewhat similar to an invasion of Full-Cold.)
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Very simple, once you’ve worked out that you have this Stomach Cold and Deficient syndrome:
All right – maybe not? OK. See an acupuncturist for this.
But there’s lots you can do as well, such as (speaking from experience, here, remember!):
Make yourself a warm ginger drink as follows:
Although this may not have seemed much, you’ve been ill.
Your Stomach and Spleen together are the daily basis for your energy and blood which together with other parts of your body keep you healthy and strong. When your Stomach Qi is low, you are more susceptible to disease and over-strain, physical or mental.
When your Stomach Qi is down, as with Stomach Cold and Deficient, it takes a few days to recover.
You need small amounts of nourishing food.
This condition is not unlike the condition of vata in Ayurvedic medicine from India. For this vata condition they recommend warm, sweetened milk. Take it last thing at night – but not too much, otherwise you’ll be up and down to the toilet all night to pee, getting colder each time! In Western countries, there’s a well-known commercial powder called Horlicks, which you make a drink out of with hot milk. This is similar, though I think it has too much sugar in it.
Here are various Stomach syndromes which can combine with other syndromes: