ONE IN 10 SINGAPOREANS SUFFER FROM IBS : WE GET EXPERT ADVICE AND FIND OUT HOW TO TREAT THIS COMMON DISORDER
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the large intestine that can affect Singaporeans of all ages. We met Physician Chin Chew Seng to find out about prevention, symptoms and treating the condition.
With one in ten Singaporeans suffering from IBS it’s a condition that seems to be on the increase, and stressful lifestyles could be to blame.
While the cause of IBS is not exactly known and the triggers are usually varied, modern medicine believes that stress, food, hormones and acute episodes of infectious diarrhoea or bacteria in the intestines can trigger IBS. In some chronic cases, it may even co-exist with heart palpitation, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
For those struggling with the condition it can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Although it differs from person to person the more common symptoms include abdominal pain or cramping, feeling bloated, gas, diarrhoea and constipation.
Physician Chin Chew Seng works at the Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic, ‘IBS has its roots in abnormalities in the gastrointestinal nervous system, with triggers such as stress and hormonal changes,’ he says. ‘With increasingly stressful lifestyles, it is inevitable that more and more people experience IBS.’
‘According to the Mayo Clinic, women are twice as likely to have IBS. Researchers believe that hormonal changes play a role in this condition. Many women find that signs and symptoms are worse during or around their menstrual periods.’
To help prevent the condition Physician Chin recommends controlling anxiety and stress. ‘Maintaining a work-life balance and an optimistic outlook is important,’ he says. ‘Avoid staying up late and prolonged fatigue as this affects the body’s immune system and may trigger the onset of IBS.’
For those suffering with IBS he recommends eating regularly and reducing your intake of stomach irritants such as cold, uncooked and oily food. ‘Avoid self-medication, and always heed professional medical advice. When IBS symptoms worsen, seek immediate medical attention.’
As a physician at the Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic at Bedok and Toa Payoh, Physician Chin is used to treating patients with IBS. ‘In Traditional Chinese Medicine, IBS is closely related to the liver and spleen as the liver maintains the smooth flow of Qi, while the spleen governs digestion. Prescribed herbal medication can help to improve the functionality of the liver and spleen, maintaining good flow of Qi. Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinics provide Traditional Chinese Medicine services, including prescribed herbal medication, acupuncture and cupping to help treat the individual holistically.’
For more information on IBS and the treatments available please visit www.euyansangclinic.com
Thank you to our expert : Physician Chin Chew Seng of Eu Yan Sang Integrative Health (EYSIH)