Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 22% of people in the UK. It is described as a collection of symptoms usually including chronic abdominal pain, altered bowel habits, bloating and flatulence. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the intestines occurring in the absence of visible structural abnormality and is the most common functional digestive disorder in the UK.
The condition can often begin during adolescence or early adulthood and can be caused by emotional stress, low-fibre diet, use of laxatives or infectious diarrhoea. Pain or impairment from IBS can result in regular visits to your GP or hospitalisation, which can commonly result in depression. The cause of IBS is unclear but it appears that sensory nerves in the bowel are hypersensitive in people that suffer from the condition and may overreact when the bowel wall stretches. The intestinal muscles can be hyposensitive or hypersensitive, therefore resulting in cramping, physical pain, sudden diarrhoea, flatulence and/ or constipation. These symptoms are usually activated from stress or eating.
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Acupuncture can help to relieve pain caused by IBS. It also helps to regulate the mobility of the digestive tract and raise the sensory threshold of the gut by stimulating the spinal nerves, neurotransmitters and NMDA receptors. Stress caused by IBS activates the sympathetic nervous system which can cause colon spasms, resulting in abdominal discomfort. While suffering from IBS the colon is often overly sensitive to the smallest amout of conflict, stress or movement. Acupuncture therefore can activate the parasympathetic nervous system which initiates the relaxation response.
Acupuncture is safe and effective to use alongside western medications, relaxation treatments, herbal medicine and psychotherapy. We can also offer advice on dietary and other lifestyle changes to help relief any IBS symptoms.
Book a consultation with us for more information and for any question you may have about how acupuncture can help Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Alternatively use the Call Back Request button at the top of the page and we will call you back.