An alternative solution for irritable bowel syndrome
There are actually treatments available that address the underlying causes of IBS, not just treat symptoms. These treatments are part of alternative medicine and have the potential to resolve the condition permanently.
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you know just how devastating it can be…and how much it can interfere with your daily activities. You may never know when the symptoms are going to hit, and you may never know how long they’re going to last. It definitely controls your life.
But it doesn’t have to. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, known as IBS for short, can potentially be resolved…permanently. That may be surprising to you because most doctors, including GI specialists, will tell you it can’t be cured. They usually say you will just have to take medications and learn to live with it the rest of your life.
To make matters worse, the medications doctors prescribe may not work very well in most patients. The reason is that IBS is a complex disease. It involves dysfunction not only in your large intestines, but also in your brain. Studies show that IBS patients are hypersensitive to both stress and physical stimuli, and the condition involves alterations of movement, secretion and cellular and immune function in the GI tract as well as alterations in the perceptual and emotional response of the brain to this GI dysfunction.
As a result of these complex interactions, there is a myriad of symptoms that can occur, with different patients having different combinations of symptoms. You may have bloating and cramping, nausea, flatulence, and/or abdominal pain. You can have either loose stools or constipation, or a combination of the two. Prescribed medications address only one or two of the symptoms at best and often don’t completely reduce them nor diminish the other symptoms.
But there is hope. There are actually treatments available that address the underlying causes of IBS, not just treat symptoms. These treatments are part of alternative medicine and have the potential to resolve the condition permanently.
To begin with, it is recognized that in many people with IBS, psychological factors may be underlying the disease or may cause the symptoms to worsen. Some of these factors may have occurred at an early age, years or even decades before the symptoms began, and the person may or may not know what they are. However, it doesn’t matter: Two mind-body methods can help alleviate the condition if psychological factors are at play.
Hypnosis has now been shown in several good studies to resolve IBS in 70% to 90% of all cases. It may take several sessions of hypnosis with a certified hypnotist with IBS experience to achieve complete resolution. Hypnosis is not dangerous, and you cannot be directed to do something that you don’t want to do, so it is well worth a try.
Another mind-body method that is very successful in resolving IBS is called Interactive Imagery. This method deals directly with your subconscious mind…the aspect of the mind that contains and expresses your emotions. In this approach, your mind produces spontaneous images that represent your emotions, symptoms, or condition. By mentally talking with these images, you actually can obtain answers about why you have the condition and how you can heal yourself. It also works very quickly: Often only a few sessions are needed to resolve IBS.
Hypnosis and Interactive Imagery are very successful at addressing psychological and stress factors, but even if these factors are not involved, these methods can still be helpful in either decreasing or resolving your symptoms.
If your IBS is not related to psychological factors, however, I also recommend Traditional Chinese Medicine. Several Chinese herbal formulas can alleviate your symptoms quickly. The primary formula I use is called Bao He Wan. Although this formula can control your symptoms better than conventional medications, the symptoms can return when you stop taking it. In an emergency, however, it is very beneficial and can quickly alleviate your symptoms.
To resolve IBS long-term, I recommend acupuncture. Often, only six to ten treatments are necessary to provide long-term relief. Acupuncture uses small needles, the size of a hair, and usually 8-12 needles are required. It is not known how acupuncture resolves IBS but it is now known that it directly affects the GI tract as well as the brain and most likely, it rebalances the body to its normal functioning.
In some patients, I use mind-body techniques, Chinese herbs, and acupuncture in combination. Because IBS may not have a specific underlying cause, or may be the result of a combination of psychological, stress, and physiological factors, the combination of treatments works well on the majority of patients.
So, don’t fret if you have IBS and it significantly interferes with your life. Alternative methods have been well documented to not only control your symptoms, but potentially to resolve this condition permanently.
printer friendly page
"An alternative solution for irritable bowel syndrome"
Dr. Altshuler graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 1972, and received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine in 1976. A board certified Internist since 1979, he founded the Balanced Healing Medical Center,...