Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common  functional gastrointestinal disorders. According to Monash University it can  affect one in seven Australian adults.

IBS SymptomsIRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME - Deakin Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Centre in Deakin, Canberra, Sydney, Rozelle
IBS is  a disorder that affects gastrointestinal motility.  Symptoms can cause lower abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, wind, constipation.

IBS is categorised into 3 primary groups:
Diarrhoea predominant
Constipation predominant
Mixed (or alternating)

Bernice Lowe offers Acupuncture fertility, IVF support, Pain Relief in Deakin, Canberra, Sydney, RozelleWho is at risk of  developing  IBS?
Adolescents,  young  adults  and women are twice as likely to have IBS. Women with IBS will notice that symptoms tend to increase just before their periods. Mental health problems such as anxiety, stress,  depression, a personality disorder or history of abuse may also predispose  one to developing IBS. It tends to be a chronic recurrent disorder that may  affect  quality of life (QOL). Often it can be associated with social and economic impacts causing workplace absenteeism, social avoidance and depression.

What causes IBS?
It is not known exactly what causes IBS, but a variety of factors seem to play a role and IBS triggers  do vary from person to person.

Foods - a number of studies show that diet has a significant role in managing this condition. Food intolerances  appear to play a role in IBS symptoms, these foods need to be identified and eliminated FODMAPs” (Fermentable Oligosaccharidases, Disaccharidases, Monosaccharides And Polyols)  are also  very common triggers for IBS.  FODMAPs are a  group of carbohydrates in food and may not be well digested and absorbed by some people. Consuming adequate dietary  fibre is very important for IBS management. Food intolerances may also be a trigger for IBS.

Emotional stress - many people with IBS will notice symptoms can increase or decrease depending on the amount of stress they are experiencing. While too much stress may aggravate these symptoms it is not the cause of IBS.

Gastrointestinal illness - IBS maybe triggered by a history of gastrointestinal infection, resulting from overseas travel or from   bacterial overgrowth in the intestines.

Diagnosing IBS
Routine pathology tests are typically normal, therefore diagnosis is made by evaluation of symptoms, exclusion of organic abnormalities and  by distinguishing it from other functional bowel disorders.  Because identifying  an  organic  cause  is difficult,  it can make IBS a challenging condition to treat.

IBS treatment and Chinese Medicine (CM)

Treatment needs to  be individualised depending on your  symptoms. Identifying triggers is essential to management of your digestive  problems. For some a multi-disciplinary approach is most suitable I will work with you to find what works best.

Chinese medicine regards IBS to be a disharmony between the Liver and the Spleen. When the body's Qi activity is harmonious the internal organs will continue their normal physiological functions. Excessive  emotions or stress will constrain the Liver’s  function of regulating  Qi,  causing internally held tension in the abdominal region, this in turn affects the Spleen and Stomach restricting the flow of bile and digestive enzymes and impairing  digestive motility.

In other words when you are stressed, signals from the brain relay messages via the nervous system [NS] to the gut and its motility function becomes disordered. If the Spleen has already been weakened by  a number of factors such as overeating unhealthy foods, gut dysbiois, candida, food poisoning, parasites, overwork, too much worry, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue and lack of exercise then it will be even more susceptible to Liver constraint. 

Acupuncture can help manage IBS
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may benefit IBS symptoms by regulating the motility of the digestive tract and regulating the nervous system. Acupuncture can be safely and effectively combined with Western biomedicine, and other treatments such as relaxation exercises, herbal medicine and psychotherapy. In addition to offering acupuncture and related therapies, I will often make suggestions to diet and other lifestyle changes that have been known to be helpful in combating IBS symptoms.

Herbal medicine Deakin Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Centre offers safe, effective Acupuncture fertility, IVF support, Pain Relief in Deakin, Canberra, Sydney, Rozelle
Some studies show Chinese herbal medicine effective for managing IBS. Depending on your diagnosis a suitable formula can be prescribed 

Other treatments that help with IBS

Psychology
The colon in those with IBS will be oversensitive to the smallest amount of conflict or stress, by working with a supportive therapist can help to change their negative health beliefs and improve their coping mechanisms, this  can have a positive influence on both mood and  digestive symptoms. 

Useful links

IBS Clinic.org.au
FODMAP diet for IBS Monash University
"Happy Inside" an App for IBS by Mind Matters

Deakin Acupuncture &
Oriental Medicine Centre
level 1, Suite 22 "Deakin Court"
27 Hopetoun Cct, Deakin ACT 2600
ph 0419 998 574

  Rozelle Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Centre
3/698 Darling St
Rozelle NSW 2039
ph 9818 8517

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME - Deakin Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Centre in Deakin, Canberra, Sydney, Rozelle 
AACMA member 1474
 

Bernice Lowe offers Acupuncture fertility, IVF support, Pain Relief in Deakin, Canberra, Sydney, Rozelle

Deakin Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Centre offers safe, effective Acupuncture fertility, IVF support, Pain Relief in Deakin, Canberra, Sydney, Rozelle