Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is defined as a disorder of the digestive tract that sees an alternation between constipation and diarrhoea in the presence of abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort. There can be any number of different triggers and many causes remain idiopathic (without cause).
Modifications to diet and lifestyle may offer some relief however a slight divergence in restrictions can reactivate symptoms. As IBS can have so many different causes and so many different symptoms, there currently lacks a standard treatment with long lasting effect from a pharmaceutical stand point.
Considering the issue from a Chinese Medicine point of view, other things need to be taken into consideration. Symptoms such as appetite (lacking or ravenous), cold hands and feet, easy bruising, varicose veins, fatigue, reflux and issues pertaining to emotional state will be investigated.
The seemingly random information helps to form a diagnosis according to the patterns found within the Chinese Medicine diagnostic system (as discussed previously). Be it a stagnation, a deficiency or a disharmony, results are generally obtained due to the different point of view that is taken during diagnosis.
Generally speaking, IBS in Chinese Medicine deals with the spleen. Think of the spleen as a factory that makes energy for the body. If you keep the factory running smoothly with the optimal working conditions then everything should flow naturally. Eating bad food will churn out poor energy, eating too much will overload the factory and thinking too much will slow down the processing – it is all a matter of balance. The liver can play a great deal in IBS as well however this is more to do with the emotional perspective.
Some general tips to assist with IBS:
1) Eat according to season and in moderation (this helps the digestion).
2) Exercise regularly (this moves blockages)
3) Do not over think (this prevents the spleen from over working)
Keep the mind clear of clutter and eat what is good for you in moderation and you should see a natural decrease in symptoms. If issues continue please contact us.
If you are interested in finding out more about the evidence based research that has gone into the effective treatment of IBS using acupuncture you can read the following meta analysis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3930986/