What are the common types and symptoms?
There are two types of digestive disorders: organic and functional GI disorders.
Organic GI disorders happen when there are physical abnormalities in the digestive system and stop it from functioning properly.
Functional Gi disorders when nothing appears to be abnormal insider the GI tract but still not functioning normally.
The most commonly seen digestive disorders are as such:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A feeling of heartburn or chest pain due to stomach acids go up into the esophagus, the cause varies, but most commonly due to inflammatory GI tract and lower esophageal sphincter functioning abnormally.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Alternating diarrhea and constipation accompanied with abdominal pain.
Inflammatory bowel disease: including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both involve a condition which causes inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract, Crohn’s disease can be the entire GI tract where ulcerative colitis is only the colon.
Chronic constipation: a condition which people have hard time with passing stools, often companied with abdominal pain, bloating and less bowel movements.
Celiac disease: a chronic digestive and immune disorder which damages the small intestine, triggered by food with gluten, it will cause chronic digestive problems and alter nutrients absorptions
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture helps treat digestive disorders by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, parasympathetic nervous system is a wide net of nerves that function together to keep us moving, sensing, eating and more. The nerve fibers shoot out from the brain and extend to the organs they act on, needles are inserted to acu points to activate these specific pathways(channels) based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis, to either boost its function or reduce inflammation, it acts as “catalyst” to make chemicals reactions inside body happen easier and faster without harming the body.