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Treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Updated on May 26, 2013

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - relieving pain in the bowel naturally

It is estimated that one in five adult Americans suffer from IBS. More than one out of three adults in the US take over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs for digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome. While the nature and degree of irritable bowel symptoms vary for individuals, common symptoms include constipation, cramping, bloating and abdominal pain. Diarrhea and migraine are additional symptoms experienced by some suffers of IBS. New natural approaches can relieve bowel pain and treat IBS successfully. Pain relief and IBS treatment through acupuncture, in combination with appropriate eating habits, can be very effective in overcoming the debilitating effects of irritable bowel syndrome.

Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Treatment of IBS with acupuncture

In this video, Acupuncturist Alan Jansson discusses the physical and emotional causes of irritable bowel syndrome, the symptoms of IBS and how acupuncture works to utilize the body's own healing capacity to relieve bowel pain and treat the underlying condition.

Acupuncture for IBS
Acupuncture for IBS

Acupuncture for IBS

Acupuncture treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome focuses on treating the internal processes of the body and enhancing the flow of life-giving energy.

So traditional acupuncture for IBS works from the inside and concentrates on improving the health of the gut and intestines, while balancing the acidity in the body together with the mucosal fluids.

So the primary aim with acupuncture treatment for irritable bowel syndrome is to enhance the functioning of the intestines and bowel and improve the body's capacity to process food/ drink and generate life-energy.

IBS tends to hang around or recur, depending ion the treatment and our discipline in consuming foods, so it will often take a number of acupuncture treatments to relieve the symptoms and bowel pain. I can really speak about the positive effects and improvement I received through my IBS acupuncture treatment with Alan Jansson.

Input vs Output
Input vs Output

Factors Contributing to IBS

What causes irritable bowel symptoms

There are both internal and external factors contributing to the development of IBS and its associated symptoms that cause pain and discomfort. IIrritable bowel syndrome, as the name suggests, can change people's temperament and lead to irritability, impatience and anxiety.

Internally, there may be a genetic weakness in the form of allergy to certain foods (for example, the growing numbers of people who are gluten-intolerant). Acupuncturist Alan Jansson argues that there is increasing evidence in his patient population of IBS being passed on genetically. In other words, people may inherit a predisposition to IBS because of their genetic makeup.

Another internal factor could be a basic personality trait that contributes to the irritable bowel condition. Some people, often described as those with "Type A Behavior", tend to be more tense, charged up, driven and prone to stress thus placing an added burden on the body and impacting the natural elimination processes.

External influences may be pollutants in the air or what we actually consume in the way of food and drink. Often people worry about diet for weight loss purposes but overlook the balancing role that the elimination process plays in maintaining or changing the body's weight.

It is not only what we eat but also how much we eat, that affects IBS. Overeating has a major negative impact on the bowel's functioning. In contrast, exercising, especially walking, can improve the functioning of the bowel. It is a question here of balancing the inputs (in terms of food and drink) with the outputs in terms of expending energy.

Also, the way we eat can influence how the body processes our food and drink. Eating mindfully, can contribute to healthy functioning of the bowel by allowing the body to process what you consume while you are in a calm and relaxed state.

Your body as a Processor
Your body as a Processor

What foods or drinks may contribute to irritable bowel

What you should not consume

As discussed previously, the way your body processes food and drink is a very individual thing, influenced by genetic makeup, personality type, developed allergies and state of mind and body (relaxed or uptight).

What is really important is to know what you can eat and drink and what you should avoid. Despite what the books and articles say, you know your body best. Each author tends to have a different list of foods to avoid, but you have to make your own assessment based on how your body reacts. You should use the lists provided in these resources to check up on how your body tends to react to them - in this way, you can build greater self-awareness.

Some of the more common foods/drinks that the experts in IBS recommend you avoid are:

  • Beans
  • Green Peppers (Capsicum)
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Coffee
  • Yoghurt (apart from Goat's milk yoghurt)
  • Ice Cream
  • Spices
  • Fatty food such as French Fries
  • Alcohol
  • Cauliflower
  • Butter
  • Cabbage
  • Foods with artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives
  • Broccoli (raw)

You may think that this takes all the fun out of your life. However, if your symptoms are severe, you may need to cut out some of these foods if they aggravate your condition. Alternatively, you may find just by cutting back on some of these foods/drinks, your irritable bowel symptoms lessen or disappear.

Watching what you eat along with acupuncture treatment for IBS can enhance your body's capacity to process food and drink effectively without the pain and discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

Know yourself and how different foods affect you - to your own self be true


What foods can you eat with IBS

What foods support bowel functioning

Again, I need to reiterate that every person is different and you have to know your own body and how it reacts to various foods and drinks.

You might gradually introduce some of these recommended foods/drinks into your eating habits but do so gradually.

Every list will vary depending on the author and their orientation so you need to make your own assessment based on personal experience aided by the insights of the experts. Here is a list of commonly recommended foods/drinks that can aid bowel functioning and reduce the symptoms of IBS:

  • Papaya (Pawpaw)
  • Sourdough bread
  • Whole grain breads (some people cannot eat these)
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Prunes
  • Dried fruits
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Oranges (some people cannot handle the acidity)
  • Mandarins
  • Rice cereal with Psyllium
  • Gluten-free breads and cereals
  • Rice noodles

Check out the resources below for insights into what you may be able to eat and what you should possibly avoid.

Please add your comments from your own experiences

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I keep hearing of Irritable bowel syndrome, I'm glad there is help for people who suffer with it.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Ron, I have lenrolled this to Coconut flour and Life Enhancing Coconut Oil When I finish my lens of Yeast/Candida, I will also put it there.

      Oh, and a HUGE Angel blessing

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I do bowel massage daily, it helps a lot.