The Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are understood differently in Oriental medicine than in conventional medicine. That's a good thing...

...Oriental medicine understands there's several "sub-patterns" of IBS, and therefore all people diagnosed with IBS don't have the same condition.

Oriental medicine has also developed treatments specific to each of these "sub-patterns," making treatment more effective than the "one-size-fits-all" conventional approach.

From the conventional perspective...

  • Chronic and frequent diarrhea, usually accompanied by pain
  • Chronic and frequent constipation, usually accompanied by pain
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
    • Following meals
    • Relieved by bowel movement
    • Intermittent
  • Abdominal fullness, gas and bloating
  • Abdominal distention
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Emotional distress
  • Depression

From the Oriental medicine perspective...

... here's the "sub-patterns" of IBS. When you read these, ask yourself if one sounds more like what you've got "going on" than the others. Afterwards, you may want to look at the IBS herbal remedies page to see the herbal medicines I use for each of these patterns...

Pattern one
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea (worse when you over-work)
  • Abdominal pain (often feels better when you press on the painful area)
  • Gas, bloating
  • Possibly hemorrhoids
Pattern two Most of the above symptoms, plus:
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of heaviness
  • Incomplete bowel movements
  • Possibly constipation
  • Stools have mucus
Pattern three
  • Severe pain
  • You want to curl up for relief
  • You don't like to be touched (especially your abdomen)
  • Most likely constipation
Pattern Four
  • Feel cold generally
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Diarrhea early in the morning
  • Undigested food in your stool
  • Low back pain
  • Low sex drive
Pattern Five
  • Small, pebble shaped stools
  • Abdominal distension (especially beneath the ribs)
  • Symptoms worse with stress
  • Depression or feeling stressed
  • Nausea
  • Belching
  • Acid reflux
  • Irregular or painful periods (women)
Pattern Six
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal distension
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea
  • Symptoms worse with stress or anger
Pattern Seven
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea with:
    • With a sense of urgency
    • Explosive
    • Burning sensation
    • Strong odor
  • Stuffy feeling in chest
  • Heavy feeling in body

Again, if you feel your fit into one of these patterns, you may want to look at the IBS herbal remedies page to see the Chinese herbal remedies I use on my patients with these patterns. Also, see the Cures For IBS page to get a better understanding on the approach I use with my patients with IBS.

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