Using acupuncture to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
This all-too-common disease is characterized by chronic stomach pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, excess gas, and irregular bowel movements.
While there’s no known cure for IBS, however, acupuncture may offer relief.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the gastrointestinal system.
According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), an estimated 25-45 million people in the United States have IBS (source).
TCM Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine where the energy flow of the body (referred to as Qi) is restored to it’s original state.
This is said to improve the functionality of organs and get rid of ailments.
In traditional Chinese perspectives, the disease is thought to be a result of imbalanced energy flow within the body.
To rectify this, acupuncture practitioners work with patients to amend the energy flow and return it to its natural state.
The short answer is yes, acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of IBS effectively.
Acupuncture is known to relieve many of the most common IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
A recent study conducted by researchers in the U.K. found acupuncture to offer relief of IBS symptoms. For the study, researchers split 233 IBS patients into two groups, one of which receive acupuncture plus the usual care, while the second group strictly received the usual care.
“Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome provided an additional benefit over usual care alone. The magnitude of the effect was sustained over the longer term. Acupuncture should be considered as a treatment option to be offered in primary care alongside other evidenced based treatments.”
---Wrote researchers in the study’s conclusion
Whether you experience minor or severe symptoms as a result of IBS, you should consider seeking acupuncture.
It's a safe, painless and highly effective way to treat a wide variety of diseases.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of IBS may include
Cramping pain in your lower abdomen
Bloating and gas
Diarrhea or constipation, or bouts of both
Immediate need to move your bowels when you wake up, or during or after meals
Relief of pain after bowel movements
Feeling of incomplete emptying after bowel movements
Mucus in your stool
Nutrition and Supplements
Some doctors believe food allergies trigger IBS, at least for some people.
The most common food allergens are dairy products, wheat, corn, peanuts, citrus, soy, eggs, fish, and tomatoes.
Healthcare Your provider may recommend an elimination diet, where foods that are suspected of causing an allergic reaction are eliminated from your diet, then gradually added back to see which foods trigger symptoms.
Eating a healthy diet that includes mainly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may help.
If gas is a problem, you may want to avoid beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, apple juice, grape juice, bananas, nuts, and raisins.
These tips may also help:
Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine
Take fiber supplements to help reduce pain, cramping, and gas.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and tobacco.
Stay away from sugar substitutes (such as sorbitol and mannitol), which can trigger symptoms in some people.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
Exercise 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week.
Engage in regular, stress-relieving activities, such as meditation and yoga.