Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is more common than most would prefer. Also called spastic or nervous colon, IBS is a type of gastrointestinal disorder affecting the large intestine that touches the lives of 25 to 45 million Americans each year. Most those affected are women and the reasons are little understood as the cause is still unknown by Western medicine. Onset is from the late teens to early 40s, and experts differentiate four types of this condition. IBS-D or IBS with diarrhea, IBS-C or IBS with constipation, IBS-M or mixed IBS with both diarrhea and constipation, and IBS-U or unsubtyped IBS.
The main signs and symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, altered bowel habits, increased flatulence, bloating and distention, abdominal cramping, food intolerance, mucus in the stool, diarrhea or constipation or alternating bouts of each, and some may also experience urinary or sexual symptoms. Researchers are still unclear as to the cause. Some believe it is related to bowel musculature movements and spasm. Others view a chemical correlation in serotonin and gastrin causing malfunctioning in brain to gut signals. Still others believe it relates to gut flora, or the bacterial biome inhabiting our gastrointestinal tract. As it occurs more in women, some feel it is a hormonal relation that creates IBS.
IBS is not IBD. The key distinguishing factor is that IBS does not have an inflammatory aspect. IBDs, such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis are also more severe than IBS. IBS as a functional disorder does not cause permanent damage to the intestines, nor does it relate to an increase in the risk of colorectal cancer.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has for centuries noted the significance of the digestive powers of the body. The gut is our center. Long before science reported the neural connection of the intestines to the central nervous system, TCM referred to our gut as the “second brain” of the body. Now, research has validated how our gut is a determining factor in our moods, mental functions, and overall health.
Acupuncture is a medical model that perceives the intricate connections of the body whole. This modern medicine with ancient roots has preserved an evolved system of treatment specifically for digestion (and more). Being unbounded by conventional diagnoses, acupuncture is a methodical science that recognizes the patterns in the body that cause disease and treats the pattern directly while resolving disease symptoms. At Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness, you have access to expert acupuncture physicians highly trained and experienced to restore health and balance to your body. For those in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida, we are your neighbors in wellness. Connect with us today by calling our office to schedule your next health session. We are committed to your health success and are here to support you on your healing journey!