The Basics

IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder where the small and large intestines do not function properly. Symptoms of IBS may include constipation, diarrhea, or both, incomplete bowel movements, mucus in stools, bloating, gas, nausea, and abdominal pain. The four types of IBS include constipation predominant (IBS-C), diarrhea predominant (IBS-D), with alternating constipation and diarrhea over 50% of the time (IBS-M) or less than 50% of the time (IBS- U). Diagnostics find no abnormality in patients with IBS.

The causes of IBS are not well understood. Researchers believe that IBS is caused by a combination of mental, emotional and physical health problems.

How Acupuncture and Functional Medicine can help

Every case of IBS is different. Lab testing may be required to determine possible underlying cause of IBS in functional medicine. Tests may include GI panels for bacteria, Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), food sensitivities and allergies.

Dietary changes and colon cleansing may be necessary for the treatment of IBS. I will work with you to find the diet and detoxification plan that works best for your body.

Emotional and mental stress often contribute to IBS. Acupuncture works to help move stuck emotions and shift negative emotional patterns. Through regulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, and HPA axis (Hypothalamus- Pituitary- Adrenal), acupuncture helps to eliminate the negative effects of stress on the body.

Tools for people with IBS

  • Find the foods that aggravate your IBS and stay away from them. Food Sensitivity and Allergy Testing may help to discover foods that are causing chronic inflammation.
  • Take high quality digestive enzymes and probiotics.
  • Stress management is essential. Exercise regularly and practice deep breathing exercises or meditation daily.
  • Eat primarily a diet consisting of whole, unprocessed (mostly organic) foods.
  • Listen to your body when choosing which foods to eat. Eat lightly if your symptoms are aggravated. Eat regular meals and don’t overeat.