According to WebMD, up to 58 million Americans suffer from IBS, with woman
affected more frequently than men.
Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be quite difficult to diagnose because there is no definitive test to determine if one has it. In fact, a diagnosis of IBS is based on a set of symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, mucous in the stools, a feeling of an incomplete bowel movement, urgency associated with a bowel movement, gas, nausea and vomiting AND your doctor having ruled out more serious conditions such as bowel cancer, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, intestinal parasites, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or celiac disease. Tests such as colonoscopies do not show any signs of disease.
It is interesting to note that patients with IBS have individual patterns of symptoms. That means that it is rare to find another IBS patient with your exact symptoms. What is common among IBS patients is a bowel that is not functioning normally. Usually muscles in the bowel contract a few times a day to move feces and eventually to produce a bowel movement. Patients with IBS find that the muscles in their bowels are extremely sensitive to certain triggers such as hormones, foods, artificial sweeteners, sugar, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, stress and other emotional traumas, gas-producing foods such as carbonated drinks, broccoli and beans, fatty foods and medications. Consequently the bowels of an IBS patient might be working overtime or at a very slow pace based on their unique pattern of triggers.
Chinese medicine is an ideal treatment for IBS because of its unique presentation. An acupuncturist is trained to holistically access all of the unique symptoms of their patients and determine a unique diagnosis and treatment plan. That means that a patient that has explosive diarrhea associated with stress will have a different treatment plan than a patient who has diarrhea first thing in the morning that isn’t triggered by stress. A typical acupuncture treatment plan would involve a selection of acupuncture points to address the symptoms and root causes of the condition and it would also likely involve Chinese herbs and some lifestyle counseling.
Its summertime, time to be out enjoying yourself and not worrying about your IBS! If you want your life back and you are willing to consider a different approach, one that has been around for thousands of years, then consider Chinese Medicine.