Acupuncture for Colitis

Colitis, which means inflammation of the colon, may develop from several different causes. They can include IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, food poisoning, Crohn’s disease and, chronic and acute inflammation. Colitis can come with symptoms such as mucus, gas, fever, diarrhea, bloody stools, stomach pain and stomach bloating.

If your colitis condition degrades more, steroids may be utilized for temporal relief and to mask the symptoms. Steroids, however, are unable to cure colitis. They also need to be used for extended amounts of time and if they are abruptly stopped, the symptoms will return. Chronic use of powerful corticosteroids has bad effects on the body. Long term use of these drugs can result in cardiovascular disease as well as arthritis and osteoporosis. These drugs not only fail to cure the colitis but also add more health problems in colitis sufferers.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Colitis

Based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, colitis stems from the dysfunction of the spleen and stomach systems.  Treatment will be aimed at improving and regulating the stomach and spleen meridians (energy pathways).  This treatment helps minimize or even completely stops the diarrhea, mucus and bleeding. TCM likewise helps to strengthen the body’s immune system and enhance the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients.

Traditional Chinese medicine follows a protocol for the treatment of colitis that has been practiced and perfected for thousands of years.  The TCM practitioner concocts a course of treatment that specifically addresses the patient’s symptoms and constitution. Thus the practitioner must understand very clearly his/her patient’s condition.  As mentioned awhile ago, colitis may several different causes. There are people who will develop diarrhea along with a cold/hot sensation and/or a dry mouth after eating fatty foods or when angered or stressed. The pulse and tongue is also observed by the practitioner to see if the condition is a yang or yin deficiency.  Even if treatment protocols may differ from patient to patient, the basic approach always stays the same which is to normalize the function of the stomach and spleen systems.

Medical research has demonstrated Chinese medicine‘s effectiveness for treating colitis.  Several modalities are integrated to attain the best results.  These modalities may include moxibustion, herbal remedies and acupuncture. Acupuncture activates energy flow inside the body and boosts the function of the internal systems. The herbal formula is a concoction of herbs and some of these formulas address the underlying root of the problem as well as the external symptoms of colitis.

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

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