Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS as it is also known, is due to a weakness of the muscle action in the walls of the gut, which push down through the intestines into the colon and rectum. IBS causes spasmodic pain with explosive, watery diarrhoea, alternating with bouts of constipation.
Currently there is no complete understanding of what causes irritable bowel syndrome, however it has been linked to food passing too quickly through the gut, a poor diet, emotional and psychological stress or perhaps a family history of the condition.
Chinese Medicine regards irritable bowel syndrome as an imbalance between Stomach, Spleen and Intestines, sometimes also affecting the Liver and Lidneys. Normally IBS is a weakness of the Spleen and Kidneys, with too much dampness in the intestines, plus Liver-Qi stagnation.
Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with TCM
In Chinese Medicine IBS is not always an easy condition to cure, but the aim will be to tonify the Spleen, clear the toxins from the body and balance the immune system. Acupuncture will often be combined with a Chinese herbal medicine prescription.
A Chinese Medicine practitioner will prescribe Pu Gong Ying (Herba Taraxaci), Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae) and Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) for this purpose, while Hou Po (Mangnolia Officinalis) can ease the bloated feeling in the Stomach. Da Huang (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei) and Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis) will stop constipation. Fu Ling (Poria) and Sha Ren (Fructus Amomi) can be used to control diarrhoea.
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