June 10, 2024

Chinese Medicine for IBS


IBS, GI, Chinese MedicineChinese Medicine for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), including herbalism and acupuncture, is very effective. The condition is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. It can be mild to severe in discomfort as well as its impact upon one’s quality of life and overall health. The illness is characterized by symptoms that include:

  • Fluctuations between constipation and diarrhea
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Excessive gas in the abdomen
  • Indigestion
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty Swallowing

Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in the West maintains typically that the condition is chronic. It is also thought to be of indiscernible origin. Management of the condition’s symptoms is usually the best-case scenario. Treatment strategies most often include medication, and lifestyle changes such as dietary changes and stress reduction. Some benefit from counseling as well to increase stress tolerance and coping. The illness can lead to depression and anxiety creating a self-perpetuating cycle and need for another layer of treatment. To make matters worse, depression and anxiety can increase IBS severity, and IBS symptoms can increase depression and anxiety.

The Conceptualization of Digestive Tract Disorders in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, gastrointestinal disorders are understood as an imbalance in the body’s natural energies of the stomach, spleen and liver. These three organs are seen as of primary importance in gastrointestinal issues, and there are many intricacies within each of them, as well as between them. A very simplified example is that the spleen moves food upward and the stomach transports it downward. A disturbance in this delicate balance leads to discomfort and possibly worse.

Chinese Herbal Medicine as Treatment

Chinese herbal formulas have proven effective in several aspects of treating IBS. Overall they are tolerated well by most (2) and can target multiple issues at once such as regulating neurotransmitters and hormones, modulating smooth muscle motility in the GI tract, alleviating inflammation, and improving intestinal flora. (3)

Chinese Medicine and a Range of Gastrointestinal Issues

IBS is a fairly common gastrointestinal malady however Chinese medicine is effective for a full range of GI conditions such as:

  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Ulcers
  • Inflammatory issues
  • Circulation problems in the GI system
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Postoperative recover

Notably, the above is not an all-inclusive list  of gastrointestinal issues treated with Chinese Medicine. If you would like to consult with Jeffrey about how Chinese Medicine may help you,

schedule a consult here,

or text (502) 299-8900. for an appointment

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