In traditional Chinese medicine, loose stools, abdominal bloating, lack of energy, and poor appetite are signs of a condition known as spleen qi deficiency. It doesn't necessarily involve your actual spleen, but it is a condition of general tiredness and weak digestion brought on by stress and poor diet.
Other symptoms of spleen qi deficiency are:
- easy bruising
- mentally foggy
- bloating, gas, loose stools
- poor appetite
- loose stools with little odor
- symptoms are worse with stress
- undigested food in the stools
- difficulty ending the bowel movement
Spleen qi deficiency is thought to be brought on by stress and overwork.
Diet can worsen spleen qi deficiency, specifically eating too many foods that are believed to cause cold and dampness in the body:
- fried or greasy foods
- raw fruits and vegetables
- cold drinks
Dietary treatment involves eating warm foods. Ginger tea and cinnamon tea are thought to be warming.
Besides spleen qi deficiency, other conditions that cause loose stools or chronic diarrhea include:
- Gluten intolerance
- Lactose intolerance
- Pancreatic insufficiency
- Bile salt deficiency
- Celiac disease
- Whipple's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
If food sensitivities are involved, treatment includes identifying possible food sensitivties using the elimination and challenge diet and then avoiding or rotating these foods. Although symptoms may improve, it's also necessary to identify the cause of the food sensitivities.Address any change or abnormality in bowel movement with your physician immediately, as it can be a sign of a serious disorder.