The term Irritable Bowel Syndrome is frequently used to diagnose digestive problems including abdominal pain, alternating constipation and diarrhea and bloating, among other symptoms.

An Australian Study published in the Journal of American Medical Association suggests that Chinese Herbs are extremely effective in treating IBS.  Patients taking specific Chinese Herbal formulas showed significant improvement over patients in the control group.  This study also suggests that Chinese Herbal Medicine is most effective when each patient is correctly diagnosed with their particular pattern of disharmony and treated not only for their individual conditions, but also for their body constitution and other underlying symptoms.

Optimal results will be obtained with both herbs and acupucture when specific treatments are customised for each patient

A study published in the Gastroenterology Nursing Journal, suggests acupuncture and the use of moxibustion can have a statistically significant affect on symptoms association with IBS.

Subjects received real acupuncture and moxibustion therapy, and were assessed by an acupuncturist according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM), in order to determine a pattern of disharmony. Each subject was treated with an individualized acupuncture point prescription. The results of this study suggest that acupuncture is a promising treatment for managing symptoms in patients with IBS.

Tips to manage or eliminate IBS Symptoms

1.  Peppermint

Peppermint oil or dried peppermint leaves can help relieve common IBS symptoms and help support your digestion.   Peppermint is also tasty.

2.  Tea

Tea is very effective in alleviating IBS symptoms and other health related symptoms.  Choose from Chamomile, Valerian root, Peppermint and ginger.  You can combine some or them all for a tasty relaxing tea!

3.  Intestinal Flora / Bacteria

Maintaining proper digestive flora is important for the digestive process.   Some bacteria is good for you, and important to have adequate supplies in the digestive tract.  Increase your intake of yoghurt, Keifer, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh or name a few.  You can also supplement with Intestinal Bacteria.

4.  Avoid

Some things are known to upset the digestive process.  These items include Caffeine, Alcohol, Sorbitol, Wheat, Eating too much at once, Dairy Products.  Drugs which erode the lining of the small intestine include Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Voltaren and Feledene.  If you are taking these drugs, pleas speak with your physician for an alternative.

Bensoussan A. Tally NJ, Ning M, Menzies R. Guo A, Ngu M. The Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with Chinese Herbal Medicine. Journal of American Medical Association 1998; 280 (18): 1585-1589

Anastasi JK, McMahon DJ, et al. Symptom Managment for irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot randomized controlled trial of acupuncture/moxibustion, Gastroenterol Nurs, 2009; 32(4): 243-55. Address: Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY 10032, USA. E-mail: ).


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