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IBS And The Role Of The Spleen And Liver In Digestive Health

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Founded on the idea of harmony and balance between yin and yang, Chinese medicine uses an approach to digestive health quite different from that of modern Western medicine. Chinese medicine states that the liver is where the blood is stored. It is the organ system that normalizes the level of blood in circulation. Therefore, for nourishment, the liver’s health relies on the adequacy of blood flowing in the body.

In addition, the spleen has also a big role to play in the circulation of blood and energy or “chi.” Chi is the life energy in our bodies that flows inside the body through energy channels called meridians to various body parts and organs, thereby influential in transporting nutrients and oxygen for maintenance and nourishment of digestive health. Blood contributes to the circulation of body fluids inside the body.

Since IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is associated with transport and movement of fluid and food in the digestive system, the spleen then plays an important role in digestive health with regard to digestive disorders and digestion.

Also adequate spleen generates constructive spleen that nourished the flesh and muscles, especially in the four limbs, which therefore helps boost body movement and mobility, which promote digestion.

Over thinking and pensiveness, in Chinese medicine, impacts the spleen’s general health, leading appetite loss, and post prandial indigestion and bloating.

According to Chinese medicine, internal and external dampness can injure the spleen and weaken its functions. Foods such as dairy products and sugars, for instance, generate internal “dampness” of the spleen. The primary function of the spleen in the digestive system is to sort out the impure and pure part of the food and drink we take in. while the spleen delivers upward the pure part of the drink and food to the heart as blood and the lungs as chi, it likewise sends down the impure part of the drink and food to the abdomen and small intestine for removal to maximize digestive health.

With a healthy abdomen and spleen the chi of the spleen goes upward, while the chi of the stomach goes downward in a coordinated and balanced manner. Chinese medicine all the time espouses the importance of balance particularly the balance between yin and yang. Yin and yang and balance form the foundations of Chinese medicine.

However, nausea, stomach distention, constipation, belching can develop if there is imbalance in the upward movement. Simultaneously, the imbalance may also disrupt the normal downward movement that can result in diarrhea and stomach distention.

The liver may play a very important role in our digestive health albeit in an indirect way. It can be influenced by our emotions. More often than not, we live our lives the way we like them and oftentimes we are met by heartbreak, disappointment, sadness, and frustration. This can naturally lead to emotional distress, which can stress our liver. A clear manifestation of a dysfunctional liver is irritability or anger.

The spleen can be weakened by a poor diet and too much work as well as a sedentary lifestyle, and too much worrying.

Chinese medicine in Orlando states the underlying reason for IBS is imbalance between the spleen and liver. Consequently, the liver governs the spleen due to the smooth functioning of the chi mechanism of the body which relies on the smooth circulation of liver “qi.” Hence, spleen is adversely affected when the liver becomes depressed; conversely, the liver becomes depressed also if the spleen weakens. To put in another way, the spleen and liver connected to each other when it comes to overall wellness and digestive health. To conclude, maximizing the health of the spleen and the liver is essential in the maintenance of good digestive health.

Cooking actually is a way of predigesting food before it’s taken inside the body. According to Chinese medicine, almost all foods ought to be cooked. This is why in Chinese restaurants you would not find any salad bars. While cooking can destroy some vital nutrients, it promotes the absorption of the surviving nutrients in the body. Cold drinks and foods can weaken the spleens, and can be damaging to digestive health.

Sweets and sugars have a direct negative impact on the spleen, because they are dampness by nature. They also can be bad to digestive health.

Other damp generating foods include wheat, pasta, noodles, and bread.

All fats and oils are also damp by nature, and are not good for the health of the spleen. The same applies to dairy products including milk. They create damp in the body and are harmful to digestive health.

To keep your spleen strong and healthy, stay away from dampening foods. Instead you can eat lightly cooked veggies, low fat meat, beans, brown rice and other unrefined grains. Optimum overall health implies good digestive health.

Written by Valerie

January 30th, 2018 at 2:37 pm

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