IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, weight loss, and anemia.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
While medical science does not know the cause of IBS, symptoms include abdominal pain that is relieved with defecation and is associated with a change in the frequency and appearance of the stool.
Heartburn causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest, throat, and stomach when irritating foods are eaten. If it occurs regularly, heartburn can indicate that there is a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is caused by stomach acid that has entered the esophagus, throat, or even into the mouth.
Dietary factors are obviously important to consider in the treatment of digestive disorders. TCM food cures can be discussed and designed specifically to suit the individual’s constitution and needs. Chinese herbs can also be prescribed and acupuncture can be used to treat the pain and improve digestion.
As reported in “The Journal of American Medical Association” (JAMA), a group of 116 patients with IBS were randomly allocated to receive either a standard Chinese herbal formula, a customized Chinese herbal formula, or a placebo. After 16 weeks, patients who received the herbal formulas fared better than those who took the placebo, as determined by both the patients themselves and gastroenterologists.¹
A pilot study of acupuncture by Chan and colleagues from the U.K. on 7 IBS patients found significant improvement in both general well-being and in symptoms of bloating.²
¹Bensoussan, A., MSc; Talley, N.J., MD; Hing, M., MBBS, FRACP; Menzies, R., PhD; Guo, A., PhD; Ngu, M., PhD. Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Chinese Herbal Medicine. JAMA. 1998;280:1585-1589.