A TCM approach to IBS by TCM Dr. Peter Haxell.
IBS is an increasingly common ailment these days, which is incredibly sad because it is a debilitating issue. Traditional Chinese Medicine takes a very different view on IBS than the western world of health, which is promising because it also offers quite a few solutions to control and in some cases, impressively address for good, IBS.
TCM Dr. Peter Haxell explain IBS from a TCM perspective;
“IBS can be explained from a TCM perspective as:
- Inconsistent bowel pattern: IBS in Chinese medicine is seen as a pattern of disharmony between the Liver and the Spleen/Stomach, in Five Element theory it is Wood invading Earth. Essentially the Liver is affected by stress, poor lifestyle, emotional issues and begins to interrupt the smooth function of the digestive system. The Liver interrupts with the digestive process and the descent of food through the intestines, whilst the digestive system is weakened and unable to transform food into nutrients and waste correctly. As a result, bowel frequency is slowed down by the Liver causing constipation, and the digestive system is unable to form stool correctly leading to loose and frequent bowel movements.
Why this happens;
- Digestive weakness: an intake of cold and raw foods, salads and smoothies, and sugar can be damaging to the gut, and its ability to break food down into nutrients and waste. While Digestive Herbs, formerly Tiny Tea can help restore this gut function, once a course of tea is taken it is important to modify the diet to incorporate more warm and well cooked food that is easy to digest and supports digestive function. Otherwise, if the diet does not change, then the inconsistent bowel pattern and other symptoms of IBS will simply return.
- Liver disharmony- the liver can become out of balance simply due to digestive weakness. However it can also be caused by stress, resentment, frustration. This pattern is comparable to the nervous system’s tendency to shift from “rest and digest” to “fight or flight” once exposed to acute stress. Over a sustained period this can be severely damaging to the health of the body, the digestive system in particular. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, rich and fatty foods can also be damaging to the liver”.
Peter’s tips on how to manage IBS;
- “Diet: foods that are easily digested and unlikely to cause inflammation are recommended. Warm, well cooked foods are recommended, and remove foods such as dairy and sugar in particular. In some individuals’, wheat and gluten can be hard to digest and should be restricted or eliminated. Salads, smoothies, and other cold or raw foods should be removed to allow the digestive system to improve.
- Managing stress: acupuncture, yoga, meditation, exercise or similar strategies can be helpful for relieving day to day stress and relieving pressure on the Liver organ. If the stress is predominantly emotional, working with a qualified counselor is often recommended”.
IBS can be a stressful issue to deal with, but it doesn’t need to be.
Just remember, our herbs can significantly help address IBS but it is beyond vital to ensure you’re feeding yourself with the correct foods and emotions – we are one big circle and we can’t leave an aspect of health out and expect full recovery.
Yours in heath.