Digestive Disorders

Gastritis seems to be the major disease in the category of stomach diseases. The Hyangyak chipsong pang and the Tongui pogam described symptoms that suggest gastritis. Gastric ulcer might be the modern diagnosis for the disorder associated with a "wound of the stomach spilling blood" accompanied by severe stomach pains.

A precise diagnosis of peritonitis, intestinal tumors, or obstructions was very difficult in both the East and West in ancient times, but some of the symptoms discussed in the Tongui pogam suggest intestinal tumors. Tumors behind the intestine that were not movable were called "cancer," whereas a kind of tumor that moved was ascribed to parasites. Stomach cancer, liver cancer, tuberculous peritonitis, uterine cancer, and probably many other forms of cancer were included in this category. Still, other intestinal disorders, such as acute appendicitis, enteritis, acute enteritis, and enterostenosis are also discussed.

Acute enteritis, in which the symptoms are similar to those of food poisoning and cholera, was treated in the medical texts composed in the later Yi Dynasty. Ascites and meteorism (tympanites) might be indicated in the category that contained diseases in which the abdomen swelled. Disorders of the rectum, such as hemorrhoids and prolapse of the anus, were described in detail, along with methods of treatment and dietary restrictions.

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