Bowel Problems

A healthy person should pass their stools 2-3 times every day. Once per day is okay, but 2-3 times is better. More than 4 times per day is indicative of a problems. The content of the stools should be well digested, not consisting of undigested foods.

Two common bowel problems are diarrhea and constipation.


Causes of diarrhea include: Crohn’s disease, Irritable bowel sydrome, hyperthyroidism, micro-organisms, drugs, bad food and more.

Chronic diarrhea treatment under Chinese Medicine is classified differently than Western Medicine. Under Chinese medicine, there are at lease six different causes: poor dietary habits, stress and emotions, weak spleen, weak kidneys, cold dampness and damp heat.  The methods of treatment under Chinese medicine would also vary according to the causes.  Most patients respond well with treatment under Chinese medicine.

I once had a patient who suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 40 years.  He did not drive and rarely left the house. His life was very limited because of this problem. When he came to me, he had someone drive just in case he had to make a run for the bathroom. I treated him for 3 months with acupuncture and herbs. By this time, he was again driving and felt comfortable leaving the house. After another 3 months of treatment he was rid of the problem completely and he was going out to socialize again.

The treatment period varies for each individual, and in the above case, it took six months to completely treat a 40 year problem. Many chronic diarrhea patients respond well within the 2-3 weeks of treatment.


Too much heat in the large intestines and/or lungs can be a cause. Stomach heat can be a cause, so can weak chi and yang deficiency. By identifying the nature of your problem, we can effectively treat constipation. Don’t think this is a big deal to require treatment? Did you know that chronic constipation is linked to higher rates of colorectal cancer?

More fiber and vegetables is the answer is you have too much heat in the large intestines. But, it can make things worse in those people who are too cool in the lower belly. Know anyone who eats lots of veges and still has constipation? These are the people who are chi deficient or experience poor circulation to the lower belly. That is why we treat according to the body type and balance the energies.

Tips for You:

  • If you already eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but still have constipation, try adding some ginger to each meal to warm the digestive system.
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