Why Do I get IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the catch-all phrase assigned to gastrointestinal tract issues that can’t be fully explained. Symptoms include:
- abdominal pain
- alternating constipation and diarrhoea
- mucous in the stool
While there is no specific explanation for IBS in Western medicine, in Chinese medicine IBS is caused by Liver, Stomach or Large Intestine dysfunction. These dysfunctions may be due to organ weakness, parasitic or bacterial infections or stress.
Types of IBS
There are three main types of IBS.
- Diarrhoea predominant
- Constipation predominant
- Alternating constipation and diarrhoea,
all of which bring lifestyle difficulties for sufferers.
Western Treatment for IBS
Most Western treatment centres around changing the diet (e.g. a low FODMAP diet) and medication (anti-anxiety medications, pain-killers, anti-diarrhoea medication such as Imodium or Lomotil and anti-spasmotic medications). None of these deal with the root cause of the problem and many have unwanted side-effects. FODMAP diets can work well but they are very restrictive and can take a lot of the enjoyment out of eating.