The concepts of acute and chronic diarrhea in Chinese medicine are similar to acute and chronic enteritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and gastrointestinal dysfunctions in Western medicine. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acute diarrhea can be caused by these factors:
* Improper diet, such as eating too much, or eating too much greasy, or cold, or stale foods;
* Exogenous pathogenic factors such as dampness;
* Cold or dampness in the spleen that leads to dysfunctions in transformation and transportation.
Chronic diarrhea is usually caused by these factors:
* Mental or emotional upsets such as stress and anxiety that may lead to the malfunction of the liver and the inhibition of the spleen by the liver qi;
* Exogenous pathogenic factors, improper diet, or overstrain that can lead to the malfunction of the spleen and stomach;
* Prolonged diarrhea may lead to dysfunction of the kidney and deficiency of the kidney yang.
Prevention methods in TCM include:
* Have a more regular lifestyle, especially diet;
* Do not eat too much, especially do not eat too much cold foods;
* Improve emotional health, practice relaxing exercises such as meditation and Qi Gong, or perform acupressure at acupuncture points (acupoints) such as Taichong (LV 3).