Women are 2-6 times more likely than men to develop IBS, and the American College of Gastroenterology suggests that women may be more sensitive to inflammation in the GI tract.
In general, irritable bowel syndrome involves alternating constipation and diarrhea with a noticeable and sustained increase or decrease in frequency of elimination. Patients with IBS may experience fatigue, pain during stool elimination, cramping, nausea, bloating, gas, headaches and backaches. These symptoms are variable, can appear in any combination, may change over time and can be worsened by certain foods, stress and other irritants.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine support qi flow throughout the body, ensuring that all physiological and emotional processes run smoothly. Tension can result in a qi stagnation, irregular qi flow, uneven physical processes (including bowel movements) unpredictable flare ups, and uncomfortable or irregular bowel movements. For a healthy qi focus on taking care of one's self and ask for help when needed. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and correcting any underlying imbalances using a variety of Oriental medicine techniques including acupuncture, stress management, dietary changes and exercise.
Acupuncture points can help relieve IBS symptoms, according to researchers from the University of York in the U.K., who found that integrating acupuncture into a treatment plan led to less severe symptoms. On the herbal front, patients receiving individualized TCM herbal formulas may experience the most benefit, according to an Australian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers in this study offered either standardized or customized formulas to patients with IBS. Patients receiving customized herbal formulas experienced fewer IBS symptoms, even after the treatment period had ended.