- over-consumption of fatty and greasy foods
- living in a damp and hot environment
- excessive and chronic sadness or worry
In Traditional Chinese Medicine one of the major causes for accumulation of damp-heat in the Large Intestine is over- consumption of fatty and greasy foods. Greasy foods are "damping", and being toxic makes them also "heating".
External climatic damp-heat in hot, damping environments may also lead to accumulation of damp-heat in the Large Intestine.
Last but not least excessive and chronic sadness and/or worry - the emotions of the Lung/Large intestine partnership - may block the healthy energy flow in these organs. The blockage will lead to fluid retention but also cause interior heat as emotions are "heating" in nature. Water retention combined with heat results in "damp-heat in the Large Intestine".
If you want to learn more about the large intestine and its functions from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine you can read the material "The Large Intestine in Traditional Chinese Medicine" in the Physiology chapter.
- abdominal pain
- loose stools with or without blood and mucus
- burning sensation in the anus
- feeling of heaviness in the body
- thirst with no desire to drink
- stiffness in the chest
Every type of blockage causes pain. Dampness in the Large Intestine manifests in abdominal pain, as there is blockage and retention in the abdomen. The stools are loose and may contain mucus and/or blood. The mucus is a sign of dampness, while the blood is a sign of intense heat in the intestine. There might be diarrhea.
The heat manifests in burning sensation in the anus, thirst and sweating. The dampness, being heavy in nature, manifests in feeling of heaviness of the body and limbs. As heat manifests in thirst, but dampness, being fluid retention, manifests in lack of thirst, damp-heat will manifest in thirst with no desire to drink.
As the Large Intestine is partner with the Lung the damp-heat accumulation may manifest in stiffness in the chest.
The treatment principle in treating damp-heat in the Large Intestine is to clear heat and resolve dampness. To achieve that it is essential to avoid the damp-heat causing foods mentioned in the Cause section.
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(1) Pitchford, Paul (2002). Healing with Whole Foods. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books
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