Traditional Chinese Medicine: Cold and Warm Foods

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a very old holistic approach to preventing and curing illness and diseases. It incorporates nutrition, herbs, acupuncture and massage to allow your body to be in balance and your qi (energy) to flow freely.

A couple months ago I visited a TCM practitioner who explained to me that in TCM, illnesses are not categorized the same way that western medicine diagnoses them as. So in Eastern medicine, Crohn’s and Colitis is diagnosed as a spleen-pancreas deficiency.
The Spleen’s key function is digestion, it transforms food into energy (qi). When the spleen is defficienty, it can not perform properly, causing unwanted symptoms, such as: chronic tiredness, weak digestion, nausea, poor appetite, abdominal bloating, hard lumps in the abdomen, loose stools, weaken, pale tongue with white coating, weak pulse, food sensitivities, nervous indigestion, anemia, diarrhea, ulcers and pain in upper abdomen and illness. As you can see, the weak spleen shows the same symptoms as one with Crohn’s disease. When spleen pancreas qi energy deficiency worsens, it degenerates into deficiency of digestive fire causing signs of undigested foods in stools, aversion to cold, cold hands and feet, clear urine, pale tongue and ulcers in the mouth.
In order to fix spleen-pancreas deficiency, one must embark in eating a warm food diet and avoid cold foods.
At first I thought cold foods were just foods that were in the fridge. I was wrong, a cold food can be something at room temperature, for example, a banana is a cold food. It makes sense though, because bananas grow in tropical environments, so it would be a food to cool one who is hot. A banana is a bit controversial when it comes to eastern vs. western medicine. In western medicine, doctors say that bananas are good for bulking up stools and that it is an easy digestible food. In eastern medicine however, doctors say that bananas pull all of your energy down, causing diarrhea and abdominal cramping.
Right now I am combining eastern and western medicine by trying the warm diet and continuing to take my western prescription of pentasa. Hopefully I will see some positive results soon.
Keep following my blog to learn what warm and cold foods are and how this TCM diet is working for me!

Pentasa

Pentasa is a mesalamine Crohn’s and Colitis medication that affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage and diarrhea. I began taking this medication in the middle of December after my colonoscopy discovered 4 small ulcers in my small intestine. I have to take 8 capsules a day, 4 in the morning and 4 in the evening. At first i found it so difficult to swallow the medication, they are like horse pills! Now I’m pro at taking the Pentasa, and I’m happy to be able to easily take it, as it has relieved my symptoms about 50%. The Pentasa has given me more good days then it has bad. Unfortunately I am still in a lot of discomfort, I have dull pain with random stabs of pain in my lower abdomen almost 24/7 and eating causes irritation.

If anyone is also on Pentasa, I would love to hear your experience with it.
Please email me at thegutgazette@yahoo.com

Food Intolerances/Sensitivities

Digestive disorders are also usually met with food intolerances and sensitivities. Many people with digestive disorders are usually also lactose intolerant and sensitive to foods high in sugar, fat and caffeine.

Unfortunately my sensitivities include a lot. When I eat processed sugars, dairy, chocolate, high fat foods (like lots of oil/butter and red meats), really spicy foods, alcohol, tomatoes and corn, my gut becomes aggravated which causes pain and trips to the bathroom.
Food sensitivities/intolerances do not exactly cause a flare up with Crohn’s disease, but if you are already in an uncomfortable state, these foods will just worsen the condition that your stomach is in.
With irritable bowel syndrome however, food sensitivities/intolerances do cause the gut to become aggravated. If you visit http://www.helpforibs.com/you can learn a lot more about IBS. When I was under the impression that I may have IBS, this website gave me a lot of information, although it didn’t exactly help me, it has helped many people!