A middle aged lady walked in the clinic. She looked distressed and complained cramping low abdominal pain before an “explosive” diarrhea which happened more than 5 times a day. The abdominal pain reduced after bowel movement. This complaint has been there for a few months and she is afraid to go out. It started after an emotional argument with a family member. Her GP had tried antibiotics for a few courses without success. Symptoms improved after using steroids, but became worse after stopping it. The stool is watery and has a lot of gas, no blood or mucus. Lately the patient experienced profuse sweating during the defecation.
Explosive diarrhea is commonly seen in people are sensitive and emotional . In patients with very severe diarrhea that can be considered explosive there is :
- Excessive watery stool,
- Excessive and loud passage of gas,
- Forceful defecation that may propel stool, messing the toilet bowel and even soiling the buttocks,
- Excessive rumbling of the abdomen (borborygmi) with hyperactive bowel sounds,
- Anal discomfort during and after stool,
- Uncontrollable diarrhea.
In the perspective of Chinese Medicine, this disorder is due to the disharmony of two systems: the Gan (liver) and Pi (pancreas). If we regard the human body as the nature, the Gan system is comparable to the forest, and Pi to the earth. The forest needs the open space to grow and then evaporate the water absorbed from the earth to the sky. If the forest (Gan) is covered up from the top (emotion from the mind), it will not able to dissipate water to the atmosphere (distribute the water throughout the body), the root of trees will grow side way in disarray inside the earth. To treat this problem, need to remove the emotional stress, soften the Gan system, strengthening the Pi system thus to help harmonize the two systems to be able to distribute the water throughout the body.