Irritable bowel syndrome and constipation
Around one in five Australians experiences the unpleasant symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) at some time. IBS is characterised by abdominal pain, bloating and alternating constipation and diarrhoea. It seems that people with IBS have sensitive bowels that are easily ‘upset’. More women than men are prone to IBS, and symptoms tend to first occur in early adulthood. The cause is unknown, but environmental factors such as changes of routine, emotional stress, infection and diet can trigger an attack (1).
Constipation is the passing of hard, dry bowel motions (stools) that may be infrequent or difficult to pass. Constipation can be both chronic and acute. The most common causes of constipation include a change in routine, not enough fibre in the daily diet, not enough fluids and lack of exercise. Constipation is also common in those who are pregnant and those who are advancing in age (2).
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1. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2014). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs [Accessed 12 Feb. 2018].
2. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2014). Constipation. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/constipation [Accessed 12 Feb. 2018].
3. McDonald, John & Janz, Stephen. (2016). The Acupuncture Evidence Project : A Comparative Literature Review (Revised). Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, Coorparoo
4. MacPherson H, Tilbrook H, Agbedjro D, Buckley H, Hewitt C, Frost C. Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: 2-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2016 Mar 15.
5. Hempel S, Taylor SL, Solloway MR, et al. Evidence Map of Acupuncture [Internet]. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); 2014 Jan. EVIDENCE MAP OF ACUPUNCTURE FOR WELLNESS. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK185070/