While I was reading an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with a team of gastroenterologists, I looked into a study they pointed to. The study found solid evidence that cases of enteritis, intestinal infection from food poisoning, increase risk of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) developing later in more than 10% of cases. In their conclusion, they summarized the data by noting that, "risk of IBS was 4-fold higher than in individuals who did not have infectious enteritis". That's a significant increase.
When the gut gets attacked by external pathogens, it can take sustained injury and damage, compromising the long-term integrity of the tissues and the organs themselves. It's like when an enemy army rolls through your countryside, destroying your crops, congesting your streams and ravaging the resources of the region. This enemy force can wreak havoc that may take time to recover from, or may irreparably affect the health and safety of the region, especially depending on how well the invasion was handled or resolved. Similarly, a lingering gut infection, or an incomplete recovery will likely leave the person vulnerable to ongoing digestive problems that fall under the definition of IBS.
In Chinese medicine, we have a collection of potent antibiotic herbal substances that are combined strategically combined with other herbs that provide support for the integrity of the tissues, to protect against the injury of the infection and ensure the digestive organs function normally, as soon as possible. We also often treat IBS, by helping regulate the nervous system with acupuncture, and also supporting the digestive organs with herbal formulas.
While the research into the complexity of the gut and the way the microbiome affects the various systems of the body rolls onward, we will continue to help people with digestive issues using diagnostic and treatment methods that have developed, progressed, and continue to work in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. If you have questions or are curious if we can help you or someone you know who struggles with digestive complaints, please feel free to ask.