Treating IBS with Eastern Medicine

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IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, tcm, eastern medicine

What is IBS?


IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a common condition that affects the digestive system. Individuals who have IBS typically experience symptoms for the entirety of their lives. Some symptoms of IBS include:


  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gas/Bloating


Someone with it can experience these symptoms for days, weeks, or months at a time. However, the symptoms can also come and go. The specific cause of it is unknown, and treatments may vary from person-to-person.


How IBS is Treated with Eastern Medicine


To treat IBS, practitioners of Eastern medicine investigate one’s symptoms, as well as the root of those symptoms according to Eastern medicine, in order to uncover patterns. They are then able to recommend treatments, and diet and lifestyle changes to combat IBS. Below are some common patterns related to it.


Symptoms of IBS


Pain along the ribs, tightness of breath, and energy/mood fluctuation


When one’s digestive qi or energy is unbalanced, their organs also interact in a way that may cause symptoms of IBS. When one experiences pain along their ribs, tightness of breath, and fluctuations in their energy and mood, oftentimes their liver and spleen are not in harmony. When combating these symptoms, treatments focus on balancing the qi within these body parts.


Gas/bloating, fatigue, lethargy


When one specific body part has a qi or energy deficiency, it can stop functioning properly. When one experiences gas/bloating, fatigue, and lethargy, that can mean that their spleen qi is weak. When combating these symptoms, treatments focus on promoting and strengthening the spleen qi.


Abdominal pain, diarrhea


Eastern medicine also considers other physical symptoms known as “dampness” and “heat”. Dampness refers to the amount of fluids present in one’s body, and heat refers to one’s ability to generate and maintain warmth and circulation. An excess or deficiency of either dampness or heat can lead to a variety of symptoms, including those related to IBS. When combating these symptoms, treatments focus on removing excess dampness and heat within the body.


If you are experiencing this, consider speaking to a practitioner of Eastern medicine. In addition to combating your symptoms with treatments, Eastern medicine practitioners can also analyze your body and offer unique lifestyle and diet changes that may not be considered Western medicine.

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