In the Mind
Changes in the mental state such as irritability, anger, impatience, judgment, criticism, and jealousy are all associated with increasing pitta. Excess pitta in the mind can also cause a tendency toward perfectionism, or a general feeling of dissatisfaction or malcontent. If pitta is allowed to accumulate unchecked, it will often lead to severe anger, rage, hostility, intense jealousy, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and even depression.
In The Digestive Tract
Early signs of pitta imbalance in the digestive system include intense hunger, excessive thirst, and a sense of insatiability. As pitta accumulates further, it can cause nausea, vomiting, hiccups, acid reflux, heartburn, loose stools, diarrhea, low blood sugar, and sensitivity to spicy and/or fried foods. The tongue might have a yellowish coating, there might be a bitter taste, or sour, fetid-smelling breath, and the feces may be greenish or yellowish, sour smelling, and can cause a burning sensation upon elimination. Long-standing pitta in the digestive tract can cause severe acid indigestion or heartburn, fatty diarrhea, blood in the stools, inflammation of the stomach or esophagus, appendicitis, and peptic ulcers.
In the Blood, Skin, & Sweat
Excess pitta may cause the skin to appear red or yellowish in color or it may be hot to the touch. You might also see hives, rash, acne, eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. Excess heat in the blood can cause fever, hot flashes, burning or itching sensations, bleeding tendencies, hematomas, and hemorrhoids. It can cause people to burn or bruise easily and can increase sun sensitivity. The tongue may appear red or inflamed and there may be bleeding gums, canker sores, or mouth ulcers. Excessive sweating, acidic perspiration, and strong, fleshy-smelling body odor are other common manifestations of imbalance. Signs of more severe disturbances in these areas include visible capillary networks, severe bleeding disorders, hemorrhage, jaundice, hepatitis, abscess, gangrene, melanoma, lupus, gout, mononucleosis, blood clots, strokes, and myeloid leukemia.
Elsewhere in the Body
Burning, red, or bloodshot eyes, extreme sensitivity to light, and a yellowish tinge in the whites of the eyes are all signs of excess pitta, as are tendonitis, bursitis, muscle fatigue, intermittent high blood pressure, mild headaches, and hair loss. Aggravated pitta can also cause dizziness, insomnia, herpes flare-ups, shingles, yellow urine, heat, and tenderness in the breasts, nipples, or testicles, prostatitis, premenstrual irritability, and heavy or painful menstrual bleeding. Long-standing pitta disturbance can lead to poor vision or blindness, chronic hypertension, fibromyalgia, gout, inflammatory arthritis, bladder and kidney infections, hyperthyroidism, adrenal exhaustion, migraines, fainting, meningitis, encephalitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disorders, and multiple sclerosis. In men, high pitta can cause inflammation of the epididymis, inflammation of the penis, and burning pain during ejaculation. In women, excess pitta can inflame the endometrium and other reproductive tissues.
1 Lad, Vasant. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Three Rivers Press, 1998. 24-25.
2 Lad, Vasant. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 2: A Complete Guide to Clinical Assessment. The Ayurvedic Press, 2006. 30, 235, 242-279.
3 Pole, Sebastian. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice. Churchill Livingston Elsevier, 2006. 51-52.