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Acupuncture and TCM can provide the patient relief of IBD or IBS symptoms

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Digestive disorders that can include Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have been plaguing millions of individuals in the United States every year. IBS is actually the next leading cause of absenteeism in work or school just behind back pain. For IBD, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine is very beneficial in enabling sufferers of IBD to lead stress free and pain free lives. Although these two conditions have almost the same names, quite very significant differences exist between them.

IBS is essentially a 100% functional gastrointestinal disorder. This signifies that, according to Western medical theory, this condition has no identified infectious, biochemical or anatomical cause. IBS is considered a syndrome which means that the diagnosis is based on a pattern of symptoms that usually manifest together. The main symptoms of this condition include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence or stomach pain. The discomfort is usually caused by eating and soothed once the person has performed a bowel movement.

IBD encompasses the conditions of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease and is a chronic inflammatory disease that involves the digestive tract’s mucosal membranes. For Ulcerative Colitis, the outer layers of the colon’s mucus membranes are affected. For Crohn’s Disease, on the other hand, the inflammation impacts the entire tissue of the tract and besides affecting the colon and distal ileum of the small intestine, this disease can also develop at any area along the digestive tract. IBD symptoms are quite severe and if left untreated can result in hospitalization. These symptoms usually involve stomach cramping, constant diarrhea, mucus or blood in stools and an increased need to defecate. The loss of blood due to IBD should be particularly heeded to guarantee the patient’s wellbeing. Diagnosis depends on the verified manifestation of ulceration through x-ray or during a colonoscopy.

Lifestyle and dietary modifications, drugs and surgery are Western medicine’s mode of treatment for IBD. Stress is a major contributor in the flare up of symptoms even if for IBS or IBD, there is no known cause. From the viewpoint of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), these diseases fall mainly primarily under the category of a spleen disorder. TCM sees the spleen as the organ that governs the transportation and transformation of the food we consume. This simply means that the spleen is a major player in the digestion and assimilation of nutrients of food into the body. A dysfunctional spleen results in gastrointestinal difficulties as in IBD or IBS symptoms. The huge role of stress in contributing to the exacerbation of the symptoms likewise indicates that either digestive capabilities of the spleen are overwhelmed or the liver’s function is impaired. The liver controls the smooth flow of energy or Qi in the body. When qi flow is blocked or erratic, it can impact the different systems of the body.

Acupuncture and TCM is used to strengthen and tonify the spleen while at the same time help to relax the liver so that Qi can flow freely and normally once more. Furthermore, other symptoms are resolved via a treatment designed to restore normal bowel movements, remove bloating and gas, reduce inflammation and stop bleeding in the gut.

Acupuncture and TCM can provide the patient relief of IBD or IBS symptoms. Still, there are some simple things you can do to manage your condition and improve the quality of your life.

  1. Join a support group and talk about your condition with others who suffer the same conditions. This can be very helpful and can help you cope a lot better with the effects of these diseases. Besides that, having a support group can mean finding other therapies that may work for you, finding doctors that are trustworthy , getting tips or hints about living with these diseases that can produce an excellent environment for genuine emotional and physical healing. One can discover support groups in or near his/her area by looking at the website of certain foundations for IBD and IBS.
  1. Herbal remedies. When dealing with digestive conditions, chamomile can help relieve stomach cramping, reduce inflammation and ease the nerves. Turmeric is another potent herb that can be used to lessen the damage wrought by the inflammation. One other good remedy to help lessen stomach discomfort from gas and bloating is a high quality probiotic.
  1. Dietary modifications – although this may be the hardest thing to make and maintain changing one’s diet does produce a substantial positive effect on gastrointestinal diseases. The one issue is that there is no diet that is effective for everyone. Record your symptoms and what you eat in a journal or diary and you ought to be able to eventually form a picture of the food that triggers your condition. Some simple suggestions include avoiding eating difficult to digest foods such as seeds or nuts, alcohol and refined sugars. The alcohol and sugar can result in inflammation in the system while the difficult to digest foods can further weaken an already fragile system.
  1. Exercise – exercise can definitely lower or even eliminate stress in your body and mind. Yoga is especially useful because a lot of the motions and poses involve twisting motions that actually massage the intestines and help improve circulation to the gut.
  1. Lessen your stress levels – We now know stress can have a huge effect on your gastrointestinal well being. The best thing you can do is to extricate yourself from situations that cause stress in your mind and body. Meditation or breathing techniques can help lessen the negative effects of stress and the severity of digestive diseases symptoms. Some health experts recommend mantra and hypnosis to help alleviate stress in persons who suffer from IBD or IBS.

IBD, IBS and other digestive diseases can negatively impact your physical condition as well as your emotional state. Although there may not be a specific cause or cure yet for these conditions, there are several choices out there to help you cope well with them. Acupuncture and TCM are just two of those modalities although their emphasis on whole body balance and natural wellness may be what you really need to treat your gastrointestinal disease.

Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic
8855 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville , FL 32217
Phone: (904) 260-2598

Written by Valerie

October 21st, 2014 at 5:10 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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