I treat many digestive system disorders in my practice. A common digestive system disorder that many of my patients come to me for is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Symptoms of IBS include bloating, gas, stomach pain, urgency to go the bathroom, diarrhea, constipation or both alternating diarrhea and constipation. Most patients that have IBS often suffer from anxiety and stress.
How is IBS Diagnosed?
IBS is diagnosed through symptoms of gas, bloating, urgency to go to the bathroom, diarrhea, constipation or alternating diarrhea and constipation. Tests for IBS include blood count, a test for celiac and inflammation of the gut.
IBS Treatment with Acupuncture
The health and preservation of the digestive system in Chinese Medicine is extremely important. Many factors will affect the gut including: diet, how and when one is eating, lifestyle, stress, antibiotics and medication use, as well as digestive system issues in one’s family. I go into full detail of my patients medical history during their first visit. Once I go through a full intake, I also look at my patients tongue and pulse. The tongue and pulse are used as diagnostic tools in Chinese Medicine which enables me to better understand imbalances in blood flow, qi and the state of organs in the body. Often times, the “diagnostic lens” that is used to approach IBS in Chinese Medicine enables an understanding of the root imbalances that are causing the disorder even when medical tests come back as “normal”. When it comes to treatment, I normally tell my patients that IBS does not just appear, normally the gut goes through chronic stress where symptoms will then flare up.
Treatment for IBS in Chinese medicine consists of acupuncture, herbal medicine as well as diet and lifestyle recommendations. In treating IBS with acupuncture, the goal of treatment is to identify and treat the root imbalances that are causing IBS. The aim is to rebalance and strengthen the gut and reduce any pathological factors that are affecting the gut causing IBS symptoms to flare-up. Certain acupuncture points help to strengthen and relax the gut as well drain pathological fluids that can cause diarrhea. Other points may move “stagnation” in the digestive system that can cause gas and bloating as well as constipation. Along with acupuncture, I normally prescribe Chinese herbal medicine. Herbal medicine, in conjunction with acupuncture not only works on eliminating IBS symptoms but restoring the guts balance so that IBS flare-ups do not take place in the future.
Diet and IBS
Diet, the way a person is eating, exercise and activities that reduce stress are of utmost important with any digestive system disorder. I educate my patients on what to eat, how to eat and activities that may help to improve their gut health.
If you want more information or have specific questions, please call our office at 917.763.8560 to schedule a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation.