Some problems we don’t like to talk about. We wish we could keep them to ourselves and flush them away. Even though talking about our bowels can be uncomfortable, the way we eliminate waste can be a big signal of our overall health. Irritable bowels syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common issues in this area. While its initial causes are debated, it has been found that emotional factors, diet, drugs, chemicals or toxic substances often precipitate or aggravate the condition. IBS is a motility disorder involving the entire gastrointestinal tract and causing varying degrees of abdominal discomfort and pain.
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- Cramping or bloating
- Excess gas
- Changes in patterns of bowel movement
- Diarrhea alternating with constipation
- Mucus in the stool
- A sensation of incomplete evacuation after defecation
Explanation from a TCM perspective
There are several causes for IBS; however, there are certain unusual situations that cause IBS. The one we will focus on in this blog is Liver Qi Stagnation. The liver is in charge of making sure there is free flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body and it is most affected by anger, irritation and frustration. When there is a decrease in the flow of blood and oxygen or an increase in anger, irritation and frustration. the liver channel becomes negatively impacted.
Some of the symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation are abdominal distention, hypochondriac pain and/or distention, sighing, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, diarrhea, depression, moodiness, PMS, breast tenderness, and painful and/or irregular menstruation.
What we do
At the Point of Health, we focus on finding the root cause of your symptoms. We do four different diagnostic tests on your first visit to determine exactly what is the cause of your IBS. Optimal treatment, therefore, must focus on alleviating the gastrointestinal symptoms and eliminating the factors that trigger bowel irritation.
Here are some nutritional and lifestyle recommendations you can start at home to help ease your IBS symptoms:
- Nutrition: Diet is essential to complete recovery. Foods that are associated with gas production should not be consumed, such as:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Drink warm or hot liquids before meals. Putting cold and ice on any part of the body will immediately constrict the flow of blood to that region. Similarly, drinking cold or iced drinks with meals will hinder the natural peristaltic movement of the digestive system
- A castor oil pack placed on the lower abdomen will help with relieving pain associated with bloating and digestion
- After doing the castor oil, do a light abdominal massage in circular motions clockwise and then counterclockwise starting from a small circle gradually becoming a bigger circle. This may also help relieve distension, discomfort and pain. A 5-minute abdominal massage is recommended daily
- Essential oils
- Combine 5 drops of fennel oil with 1 tsp. (5 ml) fractionated coconut oil in a small roll-on bottle. Apply on stomach 1-2 times a day
If you are experiencing IBS symptoms, please reach out to us today. We will work with you to craft a treatment method tailored specifically for you to get your body in balance. Once the body is in balance, disease cannot exist. We would love to join you on your health care journey!