IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a diagnosis based on symptoms, not anatomical or physiological markers. The hallmark symptoms of IBS are: abdominal pain or discomfort,
bloating, and constipation and diarrhea, either episodically alternating between both, or one predominating.
The causes of IBS are trifold:
1. Motility: the signaling is off, resulting in either rapid or slowed transit time in the gut
2. Visceral perception: tests show either high (diarrhea) or low (constipation) sensitivity to pressure in the upper and lower intestines
3. Stress: frequency of life stress and/or poor ability to process stress
Additional, but statistically less significant factors include reduced ability to absorb certain sugars, malabsorption of bile acids from fatty foods, and food allergies.
Western medicine versus eastern medicine in treating IBS:
Diagnosis is based on experiencing the hallmark symptoms for 12 consecutive weeks within a 12 month period.
Dietary recommendations include avoiding caffeine, alcohol, gums and candies with the sugar sorbitol, citrus fruit if fructose intolerant, and reducing consumption of gas-producing foods such as beans and cruciferous vegetables, while increasing fiber in the diet. Additionally, stress management is strongly emphasized, which includes regular exercise.
Western medicine recognizes, through research studies, the benefits of Chinese herbal formulas in the treatment of IBS.
The two additions eastern medicine offer are acupuncture, which is a tremendous stress-buster, and dietary counseling, limited only by the patient’s willingness to make changes in eating habits and content.
If you have questions and concerns about acupuncture treatment, we offer a free 20-minute phone session: click here for contact information to call or e-mail us. We practice at The Highlands Ranch Medical Pavilion in Littleton, Colorado.
Insurance is welcome and accepted.