Effectiveness and alternative treatment options
Acupuncture is an alternative medical treatment that involves inserting tiny needles into specific points on a person’s body. This approach can treat certain pains and illnesses, with some experts claiming it may help with irritable bowel syndrome.
Acupuncture aims to
Acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine.
This article examines whether acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS refers to a group of symptoms that occur together, the
- abdominal pain
- the feeling of an unfinished saddle
- whitish mucus in the stool
Some people with the disease claim that acupuncture has been very helpful in helping relieve IBS-related symptoms. However, others with IBS say it offers no relief from these symptoms.
The researchers found no difference in results between those who received acupuncture and those who received placebo acupuncture.
However, both groups of participants experienced more symptom relief than the control group. This study may suggest that the positive results of acupuncture are due to the placebo effect.
Acupuncture practitioners may debate this conclusion, arguing that there is no way to provide “dummy acupuncture”. This is because the results of acupuncture are systemic and less dependent on the exact location of the needle insertion.
They may also argue that any insertion of an acupuncture needle is acupuncture, so any results of fake acupuncture are the results of the practice itself. Therefore, concluding that these positive results are due to the placebo effect may be inaccurate and actually demonstrate that acupuncture works.
The review authors added that there were some limitations in the review, meaning they could not recommend acupuncture as a first-line treatment for IBS. They also said there was no evidence of long-term benefits of acupuncture for people with this condition.
The results showed that acupuncture was a more effective treatment than Western medications. He said acupuncture effectively relieved abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, poor stool production and stool abnormalities.
Another one study 2020 compared acupuncture to traditional medication: polyethylene glycol 4000, or pinaverium bromide. The study found that acupuncture was a more effective treatment for IBS symptoms than this medication.
Acupuncture points are specific parts of the body where acupuncture practitioners place their needles.
Here are some acupuncture points that these practitioners
- Yin Tang (GV29): This pressure point is between the eyebrows.
- Bai Hui (GV20): This pressure point is on the top of the head.
- Tai Chong (LR3): This pressure point is found on the foot between the first and second metatarsal bones.
- Zu San Li (ST36): This pressure point is located under the kneecap, between the two lower leg bones.
- San Yin Jiao (SP6): This pressure point is four finger widths above the highest point of the ankle on the inside of the leg.
- Tian Shu (ST25): This pressure point is on either side of the navel on the abdomen.
Here are some other alternative treatments for people with IBS.
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to treat specific symptoms or health conditions.
According to International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD)several clinical studies have shown that the practice can effectively treat people with IBS.
The IFFGD states that hypnotherapy for IBS involves progressive relaxation, soothing images and sensations that focus on the individual’s symptoms. The organization adds that hypnotherapy has shown people to improve their well-being, quality of life, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a method to work with people to explore the relationships between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The approach examines how these relationships affect a person’s well-being.
IBS is a chronic disease that is difficult to treat. Psychological processes play a role in both the development and maintenance of the disorder. Some
Some mental health issues
Therefore, people with IBS may wish to use relaxation techniques to help control some IBS symptoms.
According to IFFGDSome of the following relaxation techniques may help someone with this condition:
- diaphragm breathing techniques
- muscle relaxation techniques
- visualization of positive images
A person’s diet can affect their IBS symptoms. Certain foods can make these symptoms worse, so a person with the condition may wish to avoid them.
Commmon foods that can cause IBS problems include:
- cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli
- dairy products
Health experts may suggest
- adjust diets
- increase physical activity
- minimize stressful life situations
- improve a person’s amount of sleep
A healthcare professional may also recommend the use of medications to treat certain symptoms of IBS. The following drugs can treat IBS with diarrhea:
- alosetron, although it is only available for women and has special warnings and precautions
The following drugs can treat IBS with constipation:
- fiber supplements
Doctors may prescribe additional medications to treat any abdominal pain due to IBS:
- coated peppermint oil capsules
Healthcare professionals may also recommend that someone with IBS take probiotics. These contain living micro-organisms, most often bacteria, which
People can use probiotics to balance their gut flora, known as the gut microbiome. Probiotics can help digest food, destroy disease-causing cells, or produce vitamins.
If a person thinks they may have IBS, they should contact a doctor. A medical professional can offer a diagnosis and develop treatment strategies if needed.
If a person already has IBS and experiences a sudden worsening of symptoms, they may also wish to see a doctor.
A person with IBS may want to see a doctor if they experience:
- abdominal pain or cramps that are worse than expected
- gas that smells strong, painful, or otherwise different from usual
- mucus in the stool
- severe diarrhea or constipation
Acupuncture is a medical treatment derived from traditional Chinese medicine. It involves inserting needles or applying pressure to certain points on the body.
IBS is a long-term gastrointestinal disorder that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
Some evidence indicates that acupuncture may help relieve symptoms of IBS, while some research also shows that it may be due to the placebo effect.
However, several medications are available to treat the different symptoms of IBS.
A person can also use other approaches to treat IBS symptoms, such as hypnotherapy, CBT, relaxation techniques, and dietary changes.