Irritable Bowel Syndrome

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a kind of disorder in which the intestines lose the ability to move their contents efficiently. It is believed to affect approximately 15-20% of the adult population. The disorder does not usually lead to serious disease such as inflammatory bowel disease or malignancy. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation. Less common symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Symptoms may be triggered by stress, diet, emotional factors, hormone levels and medications.

View of TCM

In the view of TCM, spleen is the organ that controls digestion and absorption of food to produce qi and blood. Improper diet and liver disorder (from emotion, alcohol and drug use etc.) can have the spleen get weak and not break down food efficiently. Another cause of IBS could be an imbalance in Yang of kidney (kidney Yang deficiency). Kidney Yang can warm spleen to aid in digestion. If your kidney is deficient, the functions of spleen will also decline. Finally the weak spleen will make “dampness or phlegm” occur. Dampness or phlegm may up and down block organs and tissues to cause a series of problems including irritable bowel syndrome.

Treatment of TCM
Treatment of IBS consists of pharmacological and psychological therapies that aim to manage and alleviate the symptoms. Traditional Chinese herbal remedies are routinely used in China to treat the condition. The research reveals that Chinese herbal medicines and acupuncture is very effective in the treatment irritable bowel syndrome.
Acupuncture can improve the digestive functions through strengthening spleen. The research was shown acupuncture affects the nervous system by stimulating the release of endorphins to alter brain blood circulation with increase of blood flow, which alleviate the symptoms and regulate intestine movement.
There is a statistically significant reduction in abdominal pain, stress perception, relaxation etc.

*Lifestyle and Diet

Moreover, patients should:
A. Be careful with some foods: especially starch, sugar, protein combination
B. Avoid eating too many types of foods at one time
C. Prefer a high complex carbohydrate, high fiber diet
D. Eat slowly, chewed and salivated well