Irregular digestion means a weak, dry, and cold digestion with a lot of variability. This type of digestion is called Vishama Agni in Ayurveda or Liver dry stagnation + Spleen Qi deficiency in Chinese medicine and is the most unpredictable of all digestion types, easily influenced and disturbed by meal timing, food choices, level of hydration, local gut flora profile, weather and mood shifts.Irregular digestion is easily shaken by stress, worry, anger or any emotion experienced with intensity and prolonged duration. Moving around a lot, eating out, dramatic change of weather, all may stir up this delicate digestive system and bring upon irregularity, indigestion, flatulence, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal distension and pain that moves around a lot.
People with irregular digestion may feel very hungry, but quickly feel full and distended, after very little food. This is due to the lack ofdigestive acid and enzymes (an expression of dryness and coldness), preventing the possibility to digest acomplete meal. Enzyme deficiencies may cause poor absorption of nutrients and undigested food in the stool. Lack of absorption is one of the reasons for feeling hungry often and for being underweight. Although people with irregular digestion may eat a lot of food, their body doesn’t get much nourishment from it.On other days, they may forget to eat altogether. Some days they have three bowel movements, other days they have none. Some days their digestion is great, other days it’s terrible.
The excess cold and dry qualities of irregular digestion easily affect the colon, causing gas, bloating, constipation, and abdominal distension. The irregular pattern of stagnation in the colon accounts for pain that moves around a lot, and may aggravate into colic pain, which is an asynchronous movement of the intestines, and/or weak peristalsis.
How to identify irregular digestion?
The excess dry, cold and stagnated digestion will show a unique blend of symptoms for each person. Not all symptoms are required; even 2 or 3 symptoms are enough to diagnose irregular digestion.
Although seemingly contradicting, the digestive system can be simultaneously dry and wet. This means the digestive tissue is dry, while phlegm is also present, a consequence of indigestion.
- Possible bowel movements:
- Frequency: every day or less frequently, not at fixed hours
- Texture: either hard cork followed by soft stools, hard stools, goat like stools, intermittent constipation and soft stools.
- Emptying: difficult to evacuate the bowels, with effort, need to push, may be painful,and may be bleeding, there may be a feeling of insufficient evacuation, as if something is still stuck inside.
- Flatulence: more typical the noisy kind, maybe released with an effort, gas may feel blocked and needs to be pushed to move, may be sharp pain, may have a faint smell.
- Bloating: appears with flatulence, worsen in the evening, worsen with eating too fast or eating beyond the feeling of satiety
- Abdominal pain: appear concurrent with flatulence, pain moving around and not fixed at one site, or pain as a result of inflammation or ulcers, sharp pain, pain may be accompanied by a feeling of stiffness in the abdomen
- Nausea: possibly in the morning or on an empty stomach when hungry or when in motion.
- Heartburn: Less typical although definitely possible
- belching: can occur immediately after eating or even a long time after eating, usually without the smell of food
- Vomiting: Not typical
- Hemorrhoids: appear and disappear alternately, usually painful, small or relatively contracted, in relatively dark colors, without bleeding or scanty bleeding
- Fissure: appears as a result of constipation with hard and dry stools and straining during evacuation, painful, bleeding
- Appetite: Moderate, not fixed, sometimes strong and sometimes weak, can forget to eat and then feel very hungry at once, irregular meal schedule, small portions and sometimes too large, feel weak during fasting, a general negative feeling when hungry.
- After eating: a sense of wakefulness and renewable energy or only slightly fatigued.
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