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severe fatigue after bowel movement

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severe fatigue after bowel movement

Posted by
jim on June 25, 2001 at 10:06:13:

I am hoping someone might have an explanation as to why I have such severe fatigue after a bowel movement. It can take several hours to recover from the fatigue and general feeling of ill health. I should mention that I have normal funtion in every other way.



Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement

Posted by Judy on June 25, 2001 at 10:56:08:

In Reply to: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by jim on June 25, 2001 at 10:06:13:

From a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) standpoint a couple of things could be happening.

If a person has low-grade constant pain which is relieved by bowel movements, the result can be that the person feels sleepy and relaxed after the bowel movement. The low-grade pain is interfering with sleep at other times.

But you described "fatigue" and a "general feeling of ill health" following bowel movements. Conditions which are made worse by a bowel movement (pain, fatigue, etc.) point to what are called Deficiency conditions in TCM. A Deficiency condition is a TCM syndrome which is caused by there not being enough of something the person needs.

A very strong possibility from the little you describe is Qi Deficiency. Qi is roughly translated as energy. One way to treat Qi Deficiency is by the use of what is called Qi tonic herbs. Some examples are ginseng, astragalus, codonopsis, wild yam (Rx Dioscoreae Oppositae), and licorice root. The Qi tonic which is best for a particular individual depends on the total set of symptoms and signs.

In order to know for sure if it is Qi Deficiency, you would need to be examined in person by a trained TCM healer in your area. Or, learn the basics of TCM and cautiously experiment. (There are contraindications to herbs just like there are for prescription drugs.)

Fatigue also points strongly to a Deficiency condition. Any Deficiency condition (Qi, Blood, Yang, Yin, Fluids) can result in fatigue. (Dampness accumulation and certain parasitic conditions also can produce fatigue.)

I find it hard to believe that you're normal in every other way considering the marked fatigue and general feeling of ill health following bowel movements.

Some of the quesitons that a TCM healer would ask are do you ever feel sleepy and tired following a meal? Are the bowel moments soft and do the feces float or sink? (Sorry to be so graphic, but TCM healers take note of a lot of things that Western medicine doesn't - like does a person feel worse or better following a bowel movement.)

The healer also would examine your tongue, noting the color of the tongue, the color of the coating, and if the coating is thick or thin. A proper TCM analysis also involves a pulse diagnosis.

The TCM healer also would want to know what your favorite season of the year is and if one season causes you more problems than others? Are you bothered by cold or by heat? Do you have problems warming up or cooling down? What is your sleep like? Are you thirsty a lot and prefer hot drinks, or, are you rarely thirsty, perhaps even having and aversion to drinking liquids, and when you do drink you prefer hot soups? There are a number of things that are symptoms in TCM that Western medicine pays no attention to.

Judy





Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement

Posted by beth on June 25, 2001 at 12:02:50:

In Reply to: Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by Judy on June 25, 2001 at 10:56:08:

It is possible that he doesn't know he suffers from chronic low level pain if he has a high tolerance for pain.



Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement

Posted by tj on June 25, 2001 at 12:48:37:

In Reply to: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by jim on June 25, 2001 at 10:06:13:

i used to get similar symptoms ( iwould also feel wierd in the head". it wouldnt happen everytime i pooped but a lot of the time. at the time i had just finished a lot of anti biotics and i had a candida overgrowth. it went away when i treated the candida.

Follow Ups:


Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement

Posted by Judy on June 25, 2001 at 14:05:23:

In Reply to: Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by beth on June 25, 2001 at 12:02:50:

Yes. It happened to me. So many times I didn't realize I was in pain until I got relief. It's weird, but it happens.

If he's got candiasis - a possibility that one poster raised - it's very possible. Candidia can do very strange things to the perceptions. It can be like one's perceptions aren't fine-tuned and everything is just this overwhelming fog. That thing where people are asked to rate pain on a scale of 1 to 10 used to make no sense to me. I could only rate 3 levels. Either I was not in pain/ not conscous of pain, or the pain was conscious, or it was "oh my God! I've got to have something for this" pain. The second stage was always brief for me. If the pain became bad enough it registered consciously, it quickly became very severe.

I have CFIDS (and like so many PWCs had candidiasis). Another analogy I use to try to explain this is to ask people to imagine that they have a 300 pound backsack on and are trying to hike up the side of a mountain. When you're struggling with that kind of burden, your perceptions are not fine-tuned. You're not noticing things like the pack is heavier on the right lower side than anywhere else or the left shoulder strap is a little too tight. It's registering as an overwhelming load. It's only when something goes wrong enough to get noticed that that it's noticed. That's why when pain for me did become conscious but bearable that it very quickly passed to severe pain I had to have something for.

BTW, many TCM healers consider candida a special kind of parasite called I believe gu. There's an article by Bob Flaws on the Blue Poppy website. Some TCM healers are looking at the role of gu parasites in conditions like CFIDS, FMS, MS, etc.

Spleen Deficiency plays a role in gu conditions.

Judy



Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement

Posted by
jim on June 25, 2001 at 14:13:07:

In Reply to: Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by Judy on June 25, 2001 at 14:05:23:

Well, when I said fine in every way. I was referring to bowel movements. Inotherwards, I don't suffer from constipation, etc... I surely have other problems. I have constant upper G.I. problems. I am generally fatigued. However, it is much worse after a movement. I am on a whole foods diet now. My big problem is that my stomach is so bad that any supplements I take irritates my stomach. It's really discouraging.

I appreciate your comments very much!



classic lgs

Posted by tj on June 25, 2001 at 16:57:16:

In Reply to: Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by jim on June 25, 2001 at 14:13:07:

dude you have a classic case of leaky gut syndrome complete with a candida overgrowth. start reading and researching, no regular doctor is going ot help you. lots of help on this site , good place to start.

Follow Ups:


Digestive enzymes

Posted by Judy on June 25, 2001 at 23:29:20:

In Reply to: Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by jim on June 25, 2001 at 14:13:07:

Have you tried digestive enzymes, and do they help? Sometimes digestive enzymes can do things that nothing else can in helping to clear up digestive system problems and other problems. If the digestion is not working right, this makes it harder for the person to absorb and utilize the nutrients he or she needs to heal and maintain health. Digestive system problems often need priority when it comes to treating many conditions so they person can get the nutrients (and the Qi) s/he needs.)

What supplements have you tried if you don't mind my asking. Sometimes people think they're too acid when they're too alkaline. Taking an antiacid makes them sicker. It also interferes with the absorption of some vitamins and minerals.

For some people raw veggies and fruits can be very healing. For others, raw food can set off digestive problems. (From a TCM standpoint, raw food can be very hard on the Stomach.)

Food allergies and sensitivities also can play a role in digestive system problems. Identifying and eliminating the offending food can clear up the digestive system problems.

Some TCM digestive basics: TCM Organ systems do not correspond exactly to anatonomical organs. This is why the names of TCM Organ systems are capitalized. TCM is more concerned with collections of functions than with anatomy. The TCM concept of the Spleen also includes functions of the pancreas.

One of the main functions of the Stomach in TCM is to "rot and ripen" foods. One of the functions of the Spleen is to extract food Qi from food and carry it to the Lungs where it mixes with air Qi to become part of the Qi reserves of the body. (Yes, I know this sounds really bizarre by Western standards, but I'm leading up to something.)

If the Stomach doesn't properly "rot and ripen" food, the Spleen can't do its job of extracting Qi (or nutrients). The person becomes more and more Qi Deficient because this is a snowballing situation. It takes Qi to extract Qi just like it takes nutrients to produce the digestive enzymes that enable a person to extract nutrients from food.

When Qi is in short supply and limited because of an imbalance, not enough Qi is available to do all the things Qi is supposed to do. One of the functions of Qi is to "transform and transport". This includes food, fluids, feces, etc. If the limited Qi gets used in moving feces, that reduces what is available for other things; hence, the fatigue and general feelings of ill health following a bowel movement.

I want to stress again that this is NOT a TCM diagnosis because you've never been seen in person and asked the zillion questions that can be a part of a complete TCM examination. All I'm doing is raising one possibility to be considered. I also want to point out that this TCM consideration in no way rules out the possibility of Leaky Gut Syndrome. People with Leaky Gut Syndrome often have Spleen imbalance problems.

From a TCM standpoint, part of the rottening and ripening that the Stomach does depends on the temperature of the food mixture being raised to a certain temperature. Thus, cold foods and raw foods often are no-no's in the case of digestive system problems. It takes extra Qi to warm the food up to the proper temperature, and this is something that the Qi Deficient simply do not have. (There are exceptions to the no raw or cold foods; these are general comments.) About the worst food from a TCM standpoint is ice cream. It's cold and it's Dampness-engendering. The Spleen hates Dampness and can be damaged by it.

Some people suffer from Heat in the Stomach while others suffer from Cold in the Stomach. The treatments for the two are opposite. Too much Heat needs to be eliminated or cooled. Too much Cold needs to be warmed up. Antiacids often are cooling in nature, and if the Root problem is Cold in the Stomach, they can make the "burning" worse because the Fire is coming not from Heat but from Cold. (In TCM, any Evil - Cold, Heat, Wind, Dampness, Dryness - can change into Destructive Fire if not treated.)

You didn't mention if there are reflux problems. These usually have a Root of Stomach Qi Rebelling. Stomach Qi is supposed to descend, not ascend.

There are different reasons why Stomach Qi can rebel. Sometimes Food Stagnation plays a role. There are herbs to relieve Food Stagnation plus digestive enzymes can help. Sometimes there is an emotional component. (Repressed or over-expressed emotions as well as sudden severe emotions can alter Qi flow.) Often there is a problem with Liver Invading Stomach. Yeah, I know this is getting complicated, but in some of these cases the Liver problems will have to be addressed before the Stomach problems will resolve.

If there are reflux problems there are some acupoints that can be massaged or held which will lessen the problem.

If it sounds like I've had a lot of personal experience with this, I have.

Sometimes omega-3 can play a role in helping to clear up some digestive system problems - especially some food sensitivities. It has to do with the omega-3 EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) playing a role in reducing inflammation which can play a role in some digestive system problems.

BTW, a person doesn't have to have a food allergy to have an allergic-like reaction. Histamine can result from food not being properly digested.

Judy



Re: Digestive enzymes

Posted by Denise on June 26, 2001 at 09:24:07:

In Reply to: Digestive enzymes posted by Judy on June 25, 2001 at 23:29:20:

I had most of my spleen removed when I was 12. I am 36 now, what should I be doing to help my body. I have terrible digestive problems, have been checked my the docs, my blood was fine. But, they say I have IBS



Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement (Archive in dysautonomia.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on June 26, 2001 at 16:40:19:

In Reply to: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by jim on June 25, 2001 at 10:06:13:

Hi, Jim.

Strange as this symptom is (from your responses it is not rare) it is TYPICAL of a tendency to dysautonomia.

The first time I was introduced to this was when I was in medical school. It had been documented that the rectal stimulation of a sigmoidoscopy could easily precipitate a coronary in susceptible people. This made no sense at the time other than to note the danger. It is now known that this reflex is mediated throught the autonomic nervous system and was MY first inkling that the entire bodymind was connected.

It would behoove you to learn about this before it happens.

Walt



Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement

Posted by beth on June 26, 2001 at 19:49:14:

In Reply to: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by jim on June 25, 2001 at 10:06:13:

This happens to me too. No answer for you here, but at least you know you're not the only one. I also have candida issues and probably LGS.



missed periods

Posted by
jen on June 26, 2001 at 20:43:48:

In Reply to: Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement posted by beth on June 26, 2001 at 19:49:14:

missed three periods im not pregnant and have had abdominal pain mostly on the right side




Re: Digestive enzymes

Posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 00:00:34:

In Reply to: Re: Digestive enzymes posted by Denise on June 26, 2001 at 09:24:07:

First, the Root(s) of the digestive system problems need to be identified. They may or may not be Spleen-related though partial removal of the spleen would cause a TCM healer to look closely at the Spleen. The most likely imbalances which cause digestive system problems are obviously the Spleen, the Stomach, the Liver, the Small Intestine, and the Large Intestine. But the Kidneys also can play a role as can the Lungs. The most likely Root is Spleen imbalance followed by Stomach imbalance.

You didn't go into the nature of the severe digestive problems. TCM can be very detail-oriented because it is so concerned with identifying and treating Roots instead of merely treating symptoms. Several pages could be written on bowel movements alone - color, consistency, any partially digested food, constipation/diarrhea/alternating, spasms, time of bowel movement, difficult/easy, dryness/moisture content, any blood, color of the blood, etc. Reflux problems point to Rebellious Stomach Qi. Prolapse problems point to Spleen Qi Sinking. Lack of a sense of taste or a poor sense of taste point to Spleen Deficiency. Feeling sleepy after eating points strongly to Qi Deficiency. Waking up tired points to Stomach Qi Deficiency. Etc. Raw and cold foods can damage the Spleen.

There is an article on the acupunture.com site that goes into differentiating between possible Roots. It's excellent. The ideal situation would be to see a TCM healer in person for an evaluation. This also is the easiest way to get help. However, very few communities have TCM healers. Learning all you can and cautiously trying some things to help yourself also is a valid and helpful approach.

In TCM diet is considered the first line of defense in good health. Herbs, acupuncture, etc. are used only after food fails. There is a very good book called Chinese Natural Cures by Henry C. Lu. It goes into the TCM idea of a balanced diet and lists the properties of various foods (Yin tonic, Qi tonic, tonic to Spleen, tonic to Kidneys, etc.) If your local library doesn't have a copy it may be able to get it for you on interlibrary loan.

Some of the things which may point to possible Spleen imbalance, in particular Spleen Qi Deficiency are perspiring a lot (out of proportion to temperature or activity), a pale face which also is shiny (or, a swallow complexion), a pale tongue, a weak and even hard to find pulse, poor appetite, poor sense of taste, loose bowels, fatigue, no desire for physical activity, pieces of undigested food in the feces, abdominal distension after eating, and weakness of the limbs and muscles. If Spleen Deficiency goes on for some time, Dampness can accumulate. In these cases there also will be edema, a feeling of heaviness in the limbs, head, and body; nausea (due to the Dampness and Phlegm blocking the descending of Stomach Qi - not the only possible Root of nausea), aversion to drinking, and a feeling of oppression in the chest and epigastrium. (The reason Dampness can result from Spleen Deficiency is because one of the functions of Qi is to transform and transport fluids. If the Spleen isn't extracting Qi and it's in short supply, there's not enough to properly move fluids. If Dampness hangs around too long, it congeals into Phlegm, and Phlegm problems can be very difficult to treat. It's a general rule in TCM to suspect Phlegm problems if the condition is unusual and difficult to treat.)

Judy


Judy



Re: missed periods

Posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 00:10:34:

In Reply to: missed periods posted by jen on June 26, 2001 at 20:43:48:

From a TCM standpoint, missed periods not due to pregnancy or menopause often are due to Liver Blood Deficiency. Other possibilites include Drying of Blood, Blood Stasis, Cold, Depletion of Body Fluids, and/or Phlegm.

The book Curing PMS Naturally with Chinese Medicine by Bob Flaws goes into some of the basics of TCM gynocology.

Judy



IBS from a TCM standpoint

Posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 00:43:48:

In Reply to: Re: Digestive enzymes posted by Denise on June 26, 2001 at 09:24:07:

http://www.beyondwellbeing.com/ibs/index3.htm

Hopefully I typed this in correctly.

Scroll down until you get to where it goes into detail about symptoms: Diarrhea, Constipation, Gas, etc.

Judy

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Applying Dietary Therapy (TCM)

Posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 00:46:51:

In Reply to: Re: Digestive enzymes posted by Denise on June 26, 2001 at 09:24:07:

http://acupuncture.com/Nutrition/diet.htm

This article by Misha Ruth Cohen goes into dietary recommendations for specific TCM syndromes.

Judy

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Mind/Body connection via the Liver in TCM

Posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 01:17:33:

In Reply to: Re: severe fatigue after bowel movement (Archive in dysautonomia.) posted by Walt Stoll on June 26, 2001 at 16:40:19:

http://www.beyondwellbeing.com/ibs/livsp.htm

In order for this to make sense, I have to point out that TCM Organs are not equivalent to Western-defined anatomical organs. Thus, Liver in the TCM sense is spelled with a capital L. When the anatomy organ is being referred to in TCM, it's spelled with a small l.

In TCM the Organ which has the most to do with emotional equilibrium or lack thereof is the Liver. The Liver is very vulnerable to repressed or over-expressed emotions as well as to sudden, strong emotions. In turn, Liver imbalance will predispose a person to a lack of emotional equilibrium, in particular anger, followed by depression.

In TCM the Heart also has a lot to do with emotional equilibrium. Actually, each Organ is particularly vulnerable to certain emotions and in turn, imbalance will predispose the person to a particular emotion. Obsessing can damage the Spleen, fear can damage the Kidneys, grief or lessons to be learned in letting go can damage the Lungs, etc. Emotions are used in TCM analysis as a diagnostic tool. The Liver and the Heart are the two Organs which have the most to do with emotional equilibrium or the lack thereof. These also are the two that automatically are suspected and ruled in or ruled out in cases of mental illness.

Two of the Liver imbalance patterns are Liver Invading Spleen and Liver Invading Stomach. Alternating diarrhea and constipation is one of the main symptoms of Liver Invading Spleen. Sometimes the Liver Invades because the Liver is in Excess (constipation predominates in these cases); sometimes the Liver Invades because the Spleen is weak (loose stools predominate).

Because the Spleen is the most important Organ when it comes to Qi, if the Spleen is Deficient, other Organs aren't getting enough Qi either. This includes Heart Qi Deficiency. (Exactly which Organs get hit the hardest is a matter of genetics, acquired weaknesses (like trauma from an accident or infection damaging part of the body), lifestyle (eating on the run at odd times will tend to damage the Spleen), and environment (Cold imbalances and damage to the Kidneys are more likely in cold environments than in tropical areas).

For readers wishing to learn more about the TCM view of emotions, Curing Depression Naturally with Chinese Medicine by Rosa N. Schnyer & Bob Flaws.

Judy



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Re: Digestive enzymes

Posted by Vince F on June 27, 2001 at 03:29:53:

In Reply to: Re: Digestive enzymes posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 00:00:34:

curious as to how the spleen is involved in digestion ??

VF



Re: missed periods

Posted by Raisa on June 27, 2001 at 08:06:37:

In Reply to: Re: missed periods posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 00:10:34:

Hi, Jen -
Have you seen a gynecologist? I have had two friends who had your symptoms and it turned out to be a cyst on one ovary. One took medicine to dissolve it (whatever it was turned her urine a different color while she was taking it)
The other had to have minor surgery to remove just the cyst.
It would be worth it for you to find out if this could be the cause of the pain on your right side and missed periods.
Raisa



Re: Digestive enzymes

Posted by Judy on June 27, 2001 at 10:48:07:

In Reply to: Re: Digestive enzymes posted by Vince F on June 27, 2001 at 03:29:53:

It's not the spleen which is involved in digestion but the Spleen. (Common English words with special TCM meanings are capitalized.)

TCM is not so much concerned with anatomy as with groups of funcitons. Many of the functions assigned to the Spleen in TCM fit more closely with the pancreas. In fact, some writers refer to the Spleen as the Spleen-Pancreas. But, the Spleen includes a lot more than the functions of the pancreas. There are some things which have no equivalent in modern Western medicine though similar ideas are found in other medical systems from around the world. For example, there are many very striking parallels between between Mayan medicine and TCM. (There is at least one book on this.)

The TCM view is that food is rotted and ripened in the Stomach. The Spleen/ Spleen Qi extracts the grain Qi from the food and carries it to the Lungs where it mixes with the air Qi extracted from air and becomes part of the body's Qi. A rough translation of Qi is energy (though this is an inadequate translation). Qi is NOT the same thing as respiration.

The Spleen (not spleen)and Spleen Qi has a number of very important functions. One of these is transformation and transport of food and liquids. If the Spleen is weak, edema can result. (Not the only possible Root of edema, but the main one.) Spleen imbalance often is a key factor in allergies and allergy-like symptoms.

The Spleen plays a crucial role in the formation of Blood (again, not equivalent to blood). The Spleen, the Kidneys, and the Heart play the key roles in the production of Blood. (BTW, in TCM the bones are considered part of the Kidneys system. Many of the functions of the adrenal glands also are included in the TCM concept of the Kidneys). The Spleen, Lungs, and Kidneys play the vital roles in the production of Qi.

Another role of the Spleen is the restraint of Blood. The Spleen Qi holds Blood in the vessels. One of the possible symptoms of Spleen Qi Deficiency is easy bruising and hemorrhaging. (Not the only possible Root - Heat in the Blood also can cause hemorrhaging.) Deficient Spleen Qi can be the Root of abnormal menstrual bleeding, a tendency to nose bleeds, easy bruising, etc.

The Spleen stores the Constructive (aka Nutritive) Qi. This is a special kind of Qi which is important in digestion and the creation of Qi and Blood. If the body doesn't have enough or fails to store it, the person will become hungry and fatigued.

The Spleen governs the 4 limbs. Some of the possible symptoms of Spleen Qi Deficiency are weakness in the arms and legs, cold hands and feet (Qi warms), and tingling and numbness in the limbs.

The Spleen governs the muscles and flesh. (The tendons and ligaments are governed by the Liver.) If the Spleen Qi is adequate and produces enough Constructive Qi, the muscles are well-rounded, well-defined, and strong. Spleen Qi Deficiency is suspected any time there is muscle weakness and/or the muscles aren't well-defined.

There are herbs and foods which will increase Qi and which are tonic to the Spleen. The most well-known in the West of the Qi tonic herbs are ginseng, astragalus, and licorice root.

The Spleen is particularly vulnerable to Dampness and to brooding/ obsessing. The Spleen also can be injured by Cold, though the Kidneys are the most vulnerable to Cold. Spleen Qi Deficiency is one of the two most common TCM patterns seen in the U.S. Eating on the run, eating when stressed, eating at irregular times, and relying too much on junk and over-processed foods injure the Spleen. (Liver Qi Stagnation is the other of the two most common TCM patterns in the U.S.)

Qi Deficiency can manifest as either under- or overweight. BTW, Ma Huang (ephedra) is NEVER used in TCM to treat obesity because although it may provide short-term energy and suppress appetite, it depletes Qi and in the long-run will worsen the most common Root of obesity (Qi Deficiency). It's people out to make a buck who don't care how they make it who are including ephedra in weight loss formulas. It's NOT done in TCM.

Judy

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Re: missed periods

Posted by
Michelle on July 31, 2001 at 13:05:12:

In Reply to: Re: missed periods posted by Raisa on June 27, 2001 at 08:06:37:

I usually have a period every 4-5 months. When I do have one its not normal. It's usually thick & Black. Why? Should I see a doctor?



Re: missed periods

Posted by Raisa on July 31, 2001 at 17:18:21:

In Reply to: Re: missed periods posted by Michelle on July 31, 2001 at 13:05:12:

Yes, if I were having those missed periods and black ( which I think means it is old blood), I would certainly see a gynecologist. Why haven't you? If this is normal for you, then at least you would be reassured. Is there any discomfort associated with the period when it finally arrives? Raisa

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