Acupuncture for IBS? What’s IBS?

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Acupuncture for IBS? What’s IBS?

With the countless possible instances where acupuncture is proven helpful and effective, IBS is one of them. IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is unknown to many, but still affects the working population without them even knowing it. IBS symptoms include bouts of diarrhea and constipation, excess gas in the stomach, abdominal pain and cramping, and mucus in the stool. These may sound simple for symptoms, but IBS needs to be treated in the long run as it is still a gastrointestinal disorder, and the symptoms will eventually affect other bodily functions including frequent urination, bad breath, headache, persistent feeling of tiredness, and even irregular monthly cycle in women.

Aside from the fact that people would not normally want to discuss their bowel movements to others, difficulty in treating the symptoms is one of the problems in dealing with IBS. Patients who do not pay attention to treating it have experienced daily challenges which have affected their productivity may it be at work or at home as IBS has also been linked to difficulty in sleeping, anxiety, and even depression.

IBS symptom treatment is especially a difficult task even for those who are aware of their condition since it is not easy as increasing fiber (in the case of constipation) or decreasing fiber (in the case of diarrhea). Treating IBS includes identifying foods that trigger the symptoms and avoiding them, exercising, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and sugary beverages, avoiding dairy products, and avoiding foods that cause flatulence—however, these are only some of the many ways and will still vary from person to person. This is the very reason why some people with IBS would just endure the condition, or live with its symptoms. The process of alleviation is just too tiresome!

Is acupuncture helpful in IBS symptom treatment?

YES! Because of acupoint stimulation, the body is relaxed and become more receptive to the “happy hormones” that lessens intestinal muscle contractions (one of the major causes of IBS). In fact, the best pieces of evidence gathered from differing studies all throughout the US and other Western countries have pointed out to IBS being one of the most common conditions that acupuncture has treated. In one study of the efficacy of acupuncture for IBS treatment, it was noted that, “Acupuncture exhibits clinically and statistically significant control of IBS syndrome.”

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