Q3: Is there any difference between diarrhea symptoms in patients with COVID-19 and that caused by common cold? What are the similarities and differences in treatment? Besides, how TCM doctors distinguish COVID-19 from flu and cold? Was there a blank control group when using moxibustion to treat diarrhea in COVID-19 patients?
——member of CAAM
Dr. Dong Shanjing: There should be little difference between the diarrhea symptoms of COVID-19 patients and the diarrhea caused by the common cold in terms of clinical accompanying symptoms, the frequency of diarrhea and the characteristics of stool, but there should be some differences in treatment and TCM pathogenesis. Because COVID-19 is epidemic caused by cold, dampness and toxin, the disease is more ferocious, there are few exterior lung symptoms, but more spleen deficiency symptoms manifested by the straight attack of the pestilence to Taiyin (spleen). That is, the symptoms of diarrhea is caused by spleen dysfunction. However, the symptoms of common cold are mainly lung-defense exterior syndrome and Taiyang syndrome, then merged with Yangming syndrome. So there are differences in pathogenesis and treatment between them. For the diarrhea caused by COVID-19, the main treatment is strengthening the spleen to dissipate dampness, and warming yang to disperse the cold. While for diarrhea caused by the common cold, it is mainly concerned with relieving the heat or dispelling cold, of course, the symptoms of diarrhea must also be considered. This is about the symptoms of diarrhea, the pathogenesis of traditional Chinese medicine and the difference in treatment.
In addition to diarrhea symptoms, COVID-19, flu, and common cold are all respiratory diseases, and there are certain differences. First of all, the difference between common cold and flu, common cold mainly shows upper respiratory symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and other catarrhal symptoms, as well as some mild cough and low fever, which is not contagious. There is no serious headache, the general condition and the prognosis is better, and it is basically not contagious.
Compared with the common cold, flu is more severe, with more serious symptoms, stronger oncoming force and faster progress. There will be a high fever, cold, headache, fatigue and other obvious symptoms, at the same time can be accompanied by cough and chest tightness. In the early stage of COVID-19, fever, fatigue, and dry cough are the main manifestations. It is not distinguishable from common cold in terms of symptoms. The symptoms of COVID-19 patients are generally mild in the first few days. Often after a week of onset, the condition will suddenly worsen, with symptoms such as chest tightness and asthma. Also of particular concern is whether people in contact with the same symptoms. And special attention should be paid to whether the people in contact also have the same or similar symptoms.
Regarding the use of moxibustion in the temporary hospital to treat diarrhea symptoms in COVID-19 patients, we did not set up a control group. The diarrhea patients we treated were compared before and after moxibustion, and there was indeed a significant effect.