Study Case-An Obsessive Gamer with Decreased Appetite and Indigestion

△The most significant individual safety measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic include physical distancing, quarantine, and isolation. Although such steps are taken to control the spread of the pandemic, they may also cause psychological problems such as eating disorders, stress, depression, and anxiety. ImageⓒAdobeStock_ryanking999

By Winston Lee L. Ac, Ph.D., KMD

Since the pandemic broke out, there have been many patients who tend to stay their home without outdoor activities or social encounters. Those who like to stay at home usually do not exercise, have no relationship with other people, and have irregular and bad eating habits. Especially, they like to have unhealthy food that easily produces phlegm in their digestive tract. Due to a lack of outdoor activities and social encounters, many people have digestion and appetite-related symptoms. A bad habit like eating too many sweets and snacks instead of regular healthy meals at home results in excessive dampness in the digestive system. I think this circumstance aggravates the possibility of having a weak spleen and qi.

Here is a case that I would like to share. When you see a patient like this, I strongly recommend you remember this case.

A male Hispanic patient in his early twenties.

  • Observation: very skinny, depressed, uninterested in talking, not active in the conversation. The patient’s father says he plays video games at home all day.
  • Chief complaint: indigestion, decreased appetite, abdominal distention, dermatitis, insomnia, and depression.
  • First prescription: Bai Zhu, Bai Shao 180g Sha Ren, Cang Zhu, Hou Po, Chen Pi, Fu Ling 150g. Bai Dou Kou, Gan Cao 100g Ren Shen, Mu Xiang 90g Sheng Jiang 60pcs Da Zao 40pcs. [30 packages, 120cc for each, take it twice a day after meals.]
  • Outcome: Digestion and appetite have improved after taking the herbal medication for two weeks. 30% improved from the first visit.
  • Second prescription: Bai Zhu, Bai Shao 230g Sha Ren, Cang Zhu, Hou Po, Chen Pi, Fu Ling 180g. Bai Dou Kou, Gan Cao 120g Ren Shen, Mu Xiang 100g. Sheng Jiang 60pcs Da Zao 40pcs. [30 packages, 120cc for each, take it twice a day after meals]
  • Outcome: After two weeks of additional herbal medication, the patient stopped complaining of stomach pain. He looks vigorous and active and was able to eat well regularly, not to mention his appetite. The general condition (mood, sleeping quality, etc.) has improved by 70%. His primary doctor was impressed to see his outstanding improvement, and the doctor asked me about the ingredients of herbal medicine. 

From my point of view, the major herbs for this successful outcome are Bai Zhu, Bai Shao, and Cang Zhu. Bai Zhu is to tonify the spleen and qi, strengthen the spleen, and dry dampness. Bai Shao is to nourish the blood, regulate blood circulation, and calm liver yang and wind. Cang Zhu is to stimulate the digestion process and movement and stimulates the secretion of digestive fluid. I recognize Bai Zhu and Cang Zhu like this.  Bai Zhu is a mother of digestion, and Cang Zhu is a father of digestion.