We will also discuss some important nutritional supplements which can improve digestion in a high protein diet and help patients avoid any secondary gastric irritation which may occur while transitioning to such a diet.
How to build up Chi (Qi) to fight off illness and maintain good health
The following TCM formulas are some important ones to study to target these potential pattern complications which arise from Spleen/Liver disharmony: Wu Ling San, Wu Pi San, Ping Wei San, Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, Ban Xia Hou Po Tang, San Ren Tang, Yin Chen Hao Tang, Ba Zheng San, Er Miao San, Er Chen Tang, Xiao Luo Wan, Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang, Qing qi Hua Tan Wan, Wen Dan Tang, Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan, Yue Ju Wan, Bao He Wan, Wu Mei Wan, Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang.
The formulas Yue Ju Wan and Bao He Wan are particularly important as the issue of the "five stagnations" of Qi, Blood, Damp, Phlegm, Heat and Food are all common complications of a high protein diet and Yu Ju Wan can be modified to address these issues and works wonderfully in combination with Bao He Wan to avoid potential gastric issues. In cases of the "five stagnations," I also use a good quality bitters formula which can be used short term to help clear the stagnations and strengthen the digestion. I typically avoid using bitters which contain stimulant laxatives as this can often injure the Spleen mechanism which should be strengthened in cases of stagnation.
If the patient is experiencing gas, bloating and belching after starting a high protein diet, it's very important to evaluate if they may need supplementation with Betaine HCL (hydrochloric acid). It's best to start out with a small dose of 100-200mg taken with meals and then access if symptoms improve. I typically prefer to use balanced herbal bitters to improve HCL secretion however, in some cases, the use of Betaine HCL supplements can be extremely useful. It's important to have patients take this with meals and when symptoms improve, the patient can typically start to lower the dose and eventually stop supplementation.
This approach typically resolves with complication of constipation and is particularly germane in cases in which the patient is following a "paleo" diet and is avoiding whole grains. In some cases, the patient may not be consuming enough oil and is experiencing constipation due to dry stool; in these cases the simple addition of fish oil, flax oil, hemp oil or olive oil along with the aforementioned protocol typically resolves the issues with two weeks.