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Acupuncture: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal disorder in which the muscles of the large intestines become overly active making the colon overly sensitive to any matter within it, such as stool, gas, and mucus. There is currently no known cause though stress has been shown to be a trigger. There is also at the present time no cure for IBS but there are different methods to alleviate and control its symptoms. Symptoms include: Abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, mucus in the stools, constipation or diarrhea or an alternating pattern of both, gas, change in stool consistency and frequency and the urge to move your bowels after you have had a bowel movement

About 20-30% of Americans suffer from IBS at one point in their lives. It is currently not understood why but twice the number of women has IBS as do men. More time is lost from work and school due to IBS than any other medical problem other than the common cold. IBS significantly affects activities of daily living and the personal and sexual relationship of a great number of married and cohabitating couples.

Conventional treatments of irritable bowel syndrome aim to alleviate its debilitating symptoms. Medications prescribed target specific features present in irritable bowel syndrome. The FDA approved Lotronex on a restricted basis for women who meet very strict criteria of severe diarrhea based symptoms. This was due to the high risk of severe side effects caused by the drug. Other medications prescribed are antispasmodic to control the colon spasms, antidiarrheals, fiber supplements, tranquilizers and antidepressants.

Alternative treatments include different modalities whose goal is to alleviate stress, pain and control the motility of the gut. Acupuncture, acupressure, magnetic therapy, hypnosis, biofeedback as well as exercise routines such as tai chi and qigong are among the many different options.

Irritable bowel syndrome presents itself with different symptomatic manifestations in different individuals. While some sufferers of IBS exhibit symptoms of diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain, others present with constipation, distention and lower back pain, and some will have a combination of both. Traditional Chinese medicine looks at these symptoms as a manifestation of an imbalance in one or more of the organs and the qi flow. Common patterns of imbalance observable in individuals with IBS include kidney and spleen qi deficiency, liver qi stagnation as well as spleen and liver disharmony. Once the acupuncturist determines which organ is predominantly responsible as well as the status of flow of qi in its corresponding meridians, he or she can focus on stimulating the specific acupuncture points correcting the imbalance.

Current clinical and scientific studies on the effectiveness of acupuncture on IBS are minimal and are often fraught with methodical errors. More extensive research must be conducted as acupuncture as been shown to be highly effective with pain and spasms associated with IBS. The World Health Organization does recommend acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome and there is anecdotal evidence that acupuncture does help relieve many of the symptoms associated with this functional disorder.

Dr. Elisha expertly utilizes acupuncture as part of a comprehensive treatment program for irritable bowel syndrome. The holistic approach includes a diet and exercise plan as well as herbal and homeopathic remedies. Let Dr Elisha alleviate your pain, promote a better sleep pattern, and help you relax and feel generally better.

 

Call Dr. Elisha at the Healing Center today, and start feeling good and young again!

            Telephone:  561-498-1414

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