Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Acupuncture

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal disorder which causes a variety of symptoms like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, cramping and change in bowel movements. It is a functional illness. IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disease which makes up to 30 to 50 per cent of all referrals to GI specialists. Women are three times more likely to be affected by IBS than men.

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Acupuncture is a popular alternative medicine which treats patients by inserting needles in the body. This treatment balances and improves the flow of body's natural energy (chi or qi or life force), thereby ensuring proper functioning of muscles, nerves, blood vessels, glands and other organs.

Acupuncture needle

Image owner: Xhienne
Image owner: Xhienne | Source

The goal of treatment in case of IBS is to relieve symptoms. According to World Health Organization (WHO) acupuncture is effective in treating abdominal pain, muscle cramps, diarrhea and constipation. Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome display these symptoms. Insomnia, anxiety, premenstrual syndrome, nervousness and menstrual cramps are known to trigger irritable bowel syndrome. Acupuncture is found to be effective against these disorders. In IBS patients, acupuncture practitioners usually detect a qi deficiency in the spleen and lung meridians. Medical experts are of the opinion that acupuncture affects the nervous system by stimulating the release of endorphins. Endorphins are produced by pituitary gland and they promote a sense of well being in human beings.

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A research study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of acupuncture and relaxation therapy in treating IBS. It was observed that quality of life scores and gastrointestinal symptom scores were similar. Patients belonging to both the groups reported substantial reduction in abdominal pain. After 4 weeks, patients who were treated with acupuncture reported that the abdominal pain had not recurred. They also reported substantial reduction in stress levels. It was not the same with the other group. It was concluded that acupuncture was more effective than relaxation therapy in treating IBS.

Pregnant ladies should not go for acupuncture. People suffering from bleeding disorders should avoid acupuncture. Diabetics should consult their physician before opting for acupuncture.

Have you tried acupuncture?

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There are many amateurs in the field. Patients should ensure that they are treated by a licensed acupuncture practitioner.

Summary

  • Irritable bowel syndrome is an intestinal disorder.
  • Acupuncture is a popular alternative medicine which treats patients by inserting needles in the body.
  • According to WHO acupuncture is effective in treating abdominal pain, muscle cramps, diarrhea and constipation.
  • Acupuncture was more effective than relaxation therapy in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Pregnant ladies should not go for acupuncture.


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Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and a good digestion.

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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