Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is caused an inflammation of your colon. Medication helps reduce the inflammation, but if you cannot find the reason that causes the inflammation, eventually the medication will stop working, and you need to increase your dosage.

We need to use acupuncture and herbs to improve your digestion first so that you can digest food properly. Even if you can eat a perfect diet, if your digestive function is not in good shape, the food will become toxins. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can improve your digestive function and reduce the inflammation in your stomach and colon by bringing the energy to the right place. Acupuncture can quickly reduce stress to enhance your digestive function. Stress can make your stomach and colon spasm, so your stomach and colon will not move regularly. Instead, they will quickly push the food down and discharge them. When food is not digested well, the protein and oil become toxic and cause inflammation of the stomach and colon. Acupuncture can regulate the peristalsis of the colon and stomach, and Chinese herbs can help the stomach produce the right amount of enzyme and acid so the food can be absorbed properly.

When protein is not digested well, the bigger molecules can trigger an immune reaction, leading to allergies, hypothyroid problems, lupus, arthritis, neuropathy and dementia. That is why when people take anti-acid medication for a long time, they can develop panic attacks, neuropathy, anemia, and depression. The indigestion can cause insufficiency of B12, B6 and minerals, which are very critical for healthy nervous system function. You can also have insufficient cortisol and thyroid hormones, which can also lead to inflammation, allergies and hypothyroid condition. Some people do not eat sufficient vegetables and fruits. Their thyroid hormones can drop very low, and they have no energy to work. Furthermore, their testosterone can drop very low, and they lose muscles and develop impotence and depression. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs will help your stomach and colon to absorb food more efficiently, so you can have balanced nervous system and immune function.

Why Are Chinese Herbs So Effective For the Treatment of IBS?

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder of the digestive tract. The symptoms of IBS may differ from person to person. While some complaint of constipation, others can report diarrhea. Abdominal pain and discomfort, and irregular bowel movements are common symptoms of all types of IBS.

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Experts have not been able to pinpoint the exact causes of IBS. Some experts believe that early life experiences like trauma or sexual abuse may cause this gastrointestinal disorder. Problems with brain-gut interaction may affect how the body works and cause IBS symptoms.

Anxiety and depression can also cause digestive issues. Bacterial infection in the intestine can also be a cause of IBS. Anti-depression medications can also make the food move too fast or too slow through the digestive tract.

Stress definitely can influence the regular intestinal movement, leading to a spasm of smooth muscles in the GI tract.

The hypothyroid function can lead to IBS because the bowel movement becomes very slow, causing constipation even though people eat a lot of fiber and drink enough water.

IBS can be part of menopause symptoms. Women with a sharp decline of estrogen and progesterone can have irregular bowel movements, diarrhea, or constipation. Women have to try hard to regulate their digestive system, by eating more fibers, and drinking water at the right time. Relaxation is also the key to make the bowel move regularly without medication.

Complications IBS can cause

Those having IBS can face difficulty in carrying out their daily routine. Quality of life deteriorates owing to anxiety caused by IBS. Sleep cycles get disturbed, and the person feels tired throughout the day. Social interactions may get hampered because of gas and bloating.

Conventional treatment of IBS

A person suffering from IBS is recommended a diet rich in fibers. Pharmacological treatments include antispasmodics, anti-diarrheal, and laxatives. Antispasmodics and stool consistency modifiers are prescribed to relieve the major symptoms. Since patients need constant support and comfort in IBS, psychotherapy may also be required.

When people use those medications, they can have opposite symptoms. We need to find out the real causes of each IBS case and use herbs and acupuncture to address the root cause.

Treatment using Chinese herbs

While herbs are also used in the West, Chinese herbs are quite different. Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine uses herbs in combination. The formulation is not aimed at treating the symptoms of a specific illness. It is tailored for each patient: the approach is not one-size-fits-all.

An envoy herb is generally used to direct the effects to the part of the body which needs attention. An herbalist will use a combination of herbs to restore the balance of Yin and Yang for the digestive system. Since the symptoms of IBS vary widely, Chinese herbal formulae personalize the treatment.

Research points to the efficacy of Chinese Herbs in treating IBS

Medical research has been conducted which indicates that Chinese herbs can be quite effective in the treatment of IBS. Using a double-blind placebo-controlled study, it has been found that patients given a treatment of Chinese herbs reported a reduction in symptoms. The treatment helped the patients by increasing stool consistency and decreasing stool frequency when diarrhea is the main symptom of IBS.

A 3 year randomized controlled clinical trial was published in Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol (the official clinical journal for American Gastroenterology Association) in 2017. The study recruited 1044 patients with IBS at 5 hospitals in China from August 2012 to January 2015. Dr. Fan, Heng, et al. compared the Chinese Herbal formula Tongxie formula, a placebo group, and a medication (Pinaverium) group during a 4-week treatment.

The results indicated that a significantly higher proportion (75.6%) of patients given Chinese herbal formula had increased stool consistency than patients given medication (50.6%). Furthermore, a significantly higher number of patients who were given herbal formula had fewer daily stools (72.7%), than people given medication (58.3%). However, more people in the medication group had reduced abdominal pain (58.2%) and pain frequency (63.5%) than patients given Chinese herbal formula (51.4% and 58.6). In comparison with the placebo group, patients given Chinese herbs had a significant reduction in stool consistency, stool, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and pain frequency after 4 weeks of treatment.

Medications can help reduce abdominal pain faster, but if we do not improve digestion and regulate bowl movement, the medication will lose their effect.

The best way to treat IBS maybe by combining Chinese herbs and medication.