What is it?
This syndrome is a very upsetting and common condition. It is also known as Spastic Colon. It occurs because the muscles that lie in the gut or intestines don’t function properly causing irritation, spasm and pain. Erratic contractions of the wall of the intestines cause normal peristalsis movement (wave like action that propels food through the digestive system) to become irregular. The illeocaecal valve (valve in the bowels) is also prone to spasmodic attacks. Bowels may not empty properly and faeces can be like rabbit like pellets. In severe cases, blood may also be seen in the bowel motion/stool.
What are the symptoms?
- Cramps & Spasms
- Irritation and Inflammation of the intestines
- Low back pain
- mucous or blood in the stool
What factors influence it?
There is no known organic reason for this condition but the following can affect it:
- Food intolerances
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Organ Imbalances
What can TCM do?
As different people experience different symptoms, which can improve or disprove for various reasons, it is important to do a full consultation on each client. This can take up to an hour and involve Chinese Medicine, incorporating tongue and pulse diagnosis, a food intolerance test, stress management, diet, lifestyle and nutritional deficiencies. For example where there has been a lot of stress over a long period of time, the person may not be absorbing adequate nutrition from their food. If there has been ongoing diarrhoea then the person may be deficient in major nutrients eg magnesium. Inflammation and irritation of the intestines respond well to specific Chinese Herbs. For low back pain or bowel spasm, and stress, Acupuncture is useful. For severe constipation, it is important that food is chewed well, that sufficient water is being consumed and that regular healthy eating habits are adhered to. A healthy lifestyle is also paramount. This should include enough sleep and regular activity eg; walking. Treatment may include, lifestyle changes, food intolerance diet, Acupuncture, specific herbs and nutrition, stress management and dietary changes.
Where there are food intolerances, a food exclusion diet will be introduced and fully explained. In most cases, alternative foods will be suggested and explained. A food exclusion diet may change the client’s nutritional intake and in those cases, specific nutritional supplements may be advised.
DONT LET IBS KEEP YOU INDOORS
Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor, Dip Stress Management.