Traditional Chinese Medicine

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Miss G
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/29/2008 1:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I got diagnosed with IBS last year after a couple of years of hell... I have tried most things under the sun but anything under the Western Medicine umbrella has only made things worse in the long term. I have however, started acupuncture and TCM (traditional chinese medicine) which involves taking a herbal formulation three times a day. The herbalist that I see has shown me the number of diagnosies available for the digestive system in TCM. When I told her I had been diagnosed with IBS she explained that this diagnosis meant nothing - it was just a way for western medicine to put a name on something they knew nothing about that lumped many different digestive disorders under one name. TCM has dozens of different diagnosies based on the SPECIFIC symptoms of your digestive system.

I am four months into the herbal treatment and I am actually getting better... forever.... as in, when I finish treatment and stop taking the herbs I WILL NOT GET SICK AGAIN. I ran out of money and couldn't afford the herbs so I spent a week without them, and in that time it took three days before my symptoms came back and when they did they were significantly less then they were before I started treatment..

Does anyone else have any experience with Chinese Herbs? Does anyone know if the standard formulas work as well as getting one custom made for you?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 4/29/2008 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   

I have been taking a chinese herbal supplement for three years and, while it has helped quite a bit, it has DEFINITELY NOT CURED me of IBS.  This condition is said to be incurable and after thirty years of experience, I agree.  There isn't a "treatment" under the sun that I have tried either western or eastern or alternative or holistic, that has "worked" in a sustainable way.  Everything, including dietary changes, is a temporary "solution" to a chronic problem that, if you're lucky, can go into "remission" for a time but will likely return later in life.  In my case, such "remissions" have been virutally non-existent.  I may have a lessening of severe symptoms, but to be free of all symptoms - that has not happened for me.

I appreciate what naturopathic medicine contributes to the conversation about digestive disorders.  I think they take a more comprehensive approach to bowel health that integrates all the systems of the body into the equation and helps us makes sense of how one system's "breakdown" can impact all the others.  The emphasis on nutrition and herbal remedies sits well for many of us who have exhausted all the invasive treatments offered by western medicine.  I've had more successes with eastern and naturopathic remedies than I have with doctors but in the end, nothing "cures" this dreadful condition. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 4/29/2008 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
There was someone on here--his dad was Chinese--and his dad talked him into doing some sort of Chinese thing for his D. He was skeptical, especially when it involved lighting incense on his belly (!), but the last time he was on here, he was so improved as to say he was normal. Don't know how long it lasted, but he decided it'd be worthwhile to do it again if it helped for a while.

I figured any country that has not had regular and widespread sanitary water access for long probably has a lot of good ideas on how to treat diarrhea. If it makes you feel any better, in those countries where a bout of diarrhea is common due to bad water, there is VERY low occurence of colon cancer. Scientists think that maybe the diarrhea is a key--that a regular flushing out of the colon keeps the colon healthier and less prone to develop cancer (although it could be that the introduction of bad bacteria that cause the D causes the colon to improve its immune system and that might be what keeps it from getting cancer).
<<When I told her I had been diagnosed with IBS she explained that this diagnosis meant nothing - it was just a way for western medicine to put a name on something they knew nothing about that lumped many different digestive disorders under one name.>>
She is pretty correct about this.  After all, the "IBS" label can include people with a bad gall bladder, no gall bladder, people with excess acid, people with slow digestive transit times, people with fast digestive transit times, people with hormone problems, people with intestinal muscle spasms, people with "gut depression", people with food allergies, etc., etc.  There are many things which can cause bowel problems, but people are frequently given the "IBS" label anyways. 

Post Edited (Keriamon) : 4/29/2008 10:08:35 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 5/15/2008 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I started TCM and Acupuncture Feb. 08. I love it. I recently quit the herbs because I was afraid of mixing it with the Humira that I take for Crohn's. I wanted to get my blood work results before I started taking them again. I take capsules the bottle says GI Care. I don't know about whether or not custom is better than standard formulas. My blood work was great so I am going back on the herbs. My TCM dr. said it was fine I just wanted to make sure. This is something that I really have no knowledge about.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 5/21/2008 10:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm the person Keriamon was talking of. The TCM technique I tried was moxibustion said to cure gut infections in places like hong kong. I did try moxibustion for about a month and for me it did work really well initially! Unfortunately the results didn't stick and I relapsed. But doesn't mean you shouldn't still try it for yourself.. (check out my moxibustion thread on this forum).

Recently i tried all sorts of TCM's.. from herbal to reflexology. I went to see the most popular chinese herbalists in Malaysia at the start of this year, who is also a qualified doctor. He tried his best to help me but after a month long course of herbs, it didn't help me. Btw, if you ever get a chance to see a proper reflexologist I highly recommend it.

So at the moment, I still have IBS but have been carefully monitoring my diet.. I recently underwent an Imupro500 allergy test and came up positive for (vanilla, cows milk, some nuts, chinese cabbage, garlic, and lots of other little things). I am on an elimination diet, and while I feel slightly better this is only week 1 and I still have daily D.

Just like to add, I don't think TCM is hocus pocus.. I think anything that works for 'you' even if only temporarily is a good thing. Whether it is actually herbs doing it's work or it's placebo, at the end of the day if you're feeling better than what the hey.
DX'd with Fructose Malabsorbtion Dec 2006
DX'd with IBS May 2006

Current Medications :
None, but occasionally carry Seirogan for fast relief from D.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 5/22/2008 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't personally used TCM, but that doesn't mean I probably shouldn't at least give it a whirl! Actually we have an elective at school we can take on it, maybe I'll hop on board that train. I think there's a lot to be said for TCM and acupuncture especially; the results people have can be undeniably and overwhelmingly positive. I am in that "whatever works" camp as well.
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/22/2008 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to hear you relapsed, Yowie. I was hoping it had worked permanently.

If nothing else, acupuncture and acupressure (is that the same as reflexology?) can help relieve tension, which we all know can help the bowels.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 5/22/2008 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Keriamon.

Here's a link to a reflexology chart

I had a master work on my feet, and when he reached the red portions on that chart.. i SCREAMED in agony - i'm a grown man and i nearly cried! It was the most painful experience i've ever had to endure. The red portions correspond to nerves in the colon and the stomach. He diagnosed me with a very weak stomach and colon. He says he has had success in treating this condition through reflexology, and that after 3 months of treatment every day i'd no longer sense any pain when he digs his knuckles into my feet. But i'm not game to come back ... maybe one day i'll get the courage.
Imupro500 test - multiple Type3 allergies May 2008
DX'd with Fructose Malabsorbtion Dec 2006
DX'd with IBS May 2006

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