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Inability to digest fat


Dear All,

What is the best herb/formula to treat inability to digest fat?

Thanks a lot,



This would be impossible to answer as you have asked it as it&#39s both unclear what your actual symptoms are and there are a number of possible causes of issues digesting fats. If you haven&#39t yet seen an acupuncturist, I strongly suggest you do so you can get a proper diagnosis which will lead you to potential formulas which may be helpful. Also if you have had western examinations and bloodwork that would be helpful as well.

If you would like me to offer a little more insight I would have to know quite a bit more about your case. What do you mean -in exact terms- by inability to digest fats? Does this mean you get reflux after you eat a fatty meal?, you have been clinically diagnosed with something like pancreatitis?, you feel nauseated with lots of foods and moreso with fats?, etc.... It&#39s hard to even generalize an answer except to say these issues usually involve a range of conditions from gall bladder/liver trouble to issues like pancreatitis. If you can help to clarify the symptoms as well as describe any other health issues you have even if they seem unrelated that would be helpful.


Thank you for your very quick reply.

I have been to different accupunturists but none could help very much.

By inability to diggest fat, I mean that my stools always float. And my diet is not rich in vegetal fibers.

Besides that, I have a chronic pain on my right flank, on the stomach/liver region.

I was treated for liver Qi stagnation which improved the pain.

Thank you again,



Have you tried any other herbal formulas previously from the other acupuncturists you have seen? How long and how frequently did you do acupuncture previously and what if anything changed? If your symptoms did improve during acupuncture and then returned how long did you go before that happened?

Also, please describe the last 5 meals that you have had.

If possible also include a picture of your tongue in the comment, or just describe it generally - yellow coating? red with teethmarks on the side?, etc.?


I am taking Gui Pi Tang for about a month now. I took about about 11 sessions, one per week. The pain in the flank did improved but reached a plateau and did not change from there. My stools did not change at all, on other words, they continue to float during and after the treatment. I also have psoriasis, tinnitus and a lot of eructation.

About my meals, morning I usually eat a small piece of bread. Lunch a lot of whole rice and beans. Night is usually bread but not much. Thank you very much!!! Jose<img alt="" src="/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;"/>


I&#39m fairly certain gui pi tang is not going to be right for you. How do you usually feel temperature wise - hot or cold? Any heat signs at night or nightsweats?


Nothing special about temperature. I mean, I donĀ“t fell either hot nor cold. I can fell my hands at a warm temperature (same as the rest of the body) but I always thought that as being healthy - they are not sweating, nor my feet but they are not cold. No nightsweats or heat signs at night as well. I usually sleep well when I have time.


You need to get some vegetables into your diet which will better help cool and lubricate the body and intestines. You also need, more than likely, to be on a different formula that isn&#39t quite as strenghtening as gui pi wan. The pain in your flank, does it come and go as you eat or is it just there most of the time? Have you had an exam by a western doctor to look at your gallbladder in particular?

If your flank pain is worse after you eat or you&#39re not too sure, I would both change your diet a little (less bread/oil, more cooked vegetables) and then possibly use li dan wan 3x/day with meals if your practitioner thinks that is a good idea for about 6 weeks along with something that will better take out some heat - perhaps suan zao ren or gan mai da zao in the evenings perhaps a dinner and bedtime dose (again whatever formula and dosage your current practitioner thinks would be correct).


Thank you vary much for your great help and availability.

The pain in my flank does not change, almost never. Not with the food I eat nor when I eat. When it was worse, before the treatment, the more food or drink I ingested, the less I felt the pain. Also, the pain got better when I drank wine - but that was before. Today it is fairly constant, no matter what.

Yes, I did an abdomen ultrasound. There was nothing special about any organ, including the liver and the gallbladder. I also did stomach endoscopy. Which found at that time minor inflammation and the bacteria H. pylori. At that time I had also reflux. I was treated and now I do not have reflux anymore.


This tongue strongly indicates the symptom of Deficiency of Spleen Qi, which means the body is unable to transform and transport the fluids.

The crack in the centre could indicate a constitutional weakness of the heart and the swelling around it could indicate Heart qi being disturbed by emotional trauma.

Accumulation of dampness leads to the formation of phlegm and fire in the stomach.

Slight cracks around the main crack again denote a chronic Deficiency of Spleen qi.

The image also shows teeth marks around the edge of the tongue which again indicates spleen problems.

Subject to the information you have previously received, I would suggest your practitioner consider focussing on this symptom, if he hasn&#39t already, using either appropriate acupuncture points or appropriate herbal combinations.

If you are suffering any emotional problems, these possibly could be the ultimate cause and would need to be addressed using again herbs or acupuncture.


Dear Wen Kai,

Thank you for your comments.

I think that I am taking Gui Pi Tang specifically to help with Spleen Qi deficiency. Is that not appropriate? Would you recommend a different formula?

For the Heart weakness, which formula would suits best?

There were no comments about my stool always float. Is this not important? Is it not related to an inability to diggest fat?

Thanks again,

Jose Netto


Dear Jose,

Yes, Gui Pi Tang is the formula which can be used in your case including the heart deficiency, but I refer you to Chad&#39s previous dietary advice and to the other formulas he mentioned you try.

I would do this conscientiously, making a note of condition changes.

Your condition is thought to be caused by worry of some sort and if this is so, this could be the main cause of your problem. If you have anxiety and can eliminate this, then your digestive system should improve. Stress can do strange things to your health. Even worrying about your illness, which I know is hard to stop, is not helping.

As regards stools, floating and sinking, instead of me explaining, I suggest you google "floating stools" and there are many explanations for you online.

Floating stools are not an illness or disease in themselves, but they could indicate digestive problems if they persist for a period.

Good luck in solving your problem.

Wen kai


Thank you very much Wen Kai.

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