Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine for IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is defined as a motility disorder involving the small and large intestines associated with different degrees of abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea, largely as a reaction to stress in a susceptible individual. Pain can be triggered by eating and relieved with bowel movement. Bloating, flatulence, nausea, mucous in stools, feeling incomplete after a bowel movement, pain in the rectum and even bowel incontinence can be seen in some patients. The western medical treatment involves medication for constipation, diarrhea, pain or anxiety/stress. So drugs to promote bowel movements (ie. fiber) for constipation, drugs to decrease peristalsis/spams and finally antidepressants to treat nervousness, anxiety and other emotional disorders. Personally, most patients I see in the clinic are at least on antidepressants, if not a combination of antidepressants with something else. Unfortunately, western drugs can have lots of side effects and people are looking for alternatives.
I have seen how IBS can turn into IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). IBD involves severe inflammation of the bowels which can cause painful abdominal pain with cramping, diarrhea and bloody stools. So treating IBS early is to your advantage. Of course bad eating habits can affect your digestive system, but from my experience IBS is rooted in emotional disorders like stress, anxiety, depression. To eat properly follow this link on my site that will provide information on a diet that would be of benefit to you if you are suffering from IBS. After eating properly the best you can do is decrease stress. People are usually stressed about their health, work, finances or relationships. I had one patient who would work 80 hours a week and was wondering why she had IBS. Another was breaking up with her boyfriend and experienced IBS symptoms. Yet another would have problems before taking an exam. Obviously, their is a strong emotional component with IBS. In the old days, this would be called a nervous stomach. So addressing whatever stress exists in your life is vital if you wish to get better. If it’s your job, then start looking for another one. If it’s a relationship, then fix it or leave it. Ultimately, the only thing we can do is change a bad situation, accept it or move away from it. Anything else is insanity.
So in order to heal you must address any lifestyle issues that are perpetuating the condition. Now Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be especially helpful in the healing of IBS. The mere fact that Acupuncture reduces stress and calms the nervous system will help anyone with IBS. Of course, treatment will be more beneficial with lifestyle changes like watching stress and diet. Acupuncture inn combination with Chinese Herbs can help to calm the nervous system and address diarrhea and/or constipation. The earlier one is treated, the better the chances of a full healing.

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