IBS is difficult and upsetting disorder that is also very common. It often begins in early adulthood, causing abdominal pain along with a host of other symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, belching, bloating, abdominal pain and cramping, and irritability. The condition affects women three times as often as men, and there is a close link between symptom onset and stress levels. It is a purely functional disease, meaning that no known physical cause exists. While conventional treatments can temporarily alleviate symptoms, they do not address the root cause of the condition and thus cannot offer permanent results.
From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, IBS is a disease related to the functioning of the spleen and stomach, which are responsible for digestion, and the liver, the organ in charge of the smooth flow of qi in the body. To treat IBS, the focus must be placed on both strengthening digestive function and achieving emotional equilibrium to help cope with stress, anxiety, and frustration which can exacerbate the condition. Regular acupuncture treatments in conjunction with Chinese herbal therapy can help address both by regulating the flow of liver qi and balancing the spleen and stomach function, making Oriental medicine a very effective approach to not only alleviating symptoms associated with IBS including but addressing the causative factors surrounding the disorder, including such triggers as emotional upset, insomnia, acid reflux, premenstrual syndrome, fatigue, etc.
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