Hello lovely readers,
One of our other practitioners, Mary Clark, at Awakenings Health will also be contributing to this blog moving forward. Mary practices acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbal medicine, and does nutritional counseling. She’s a wealth of knowledge, and we wanted to share her thoughts as another resource for you in your quest for a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
So, without further ado:
Functional Gastrointesinal Disorders (FGID’s), often referred to as disorders of brain-gut interaction, can afflict any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the esophagus, stomach and intestines. They are considered to be disorders of function (how the GI tract works), rather than structural or biochemical abnormalities.
FGID’s are common and affect 1 in 4 children and 1 in 3 adults. According to the Rome IV diagnostic criteria, over 40 adult and pediatric FGID’s exist. The most prevalent forms are:
– Functional dyspepsia (indigestion)
– Functional constipation
– Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Investigations such as x-rays, blood tests and endoscopies can often show normal results. As a consequence, those suffering can frequently feel stigmatized, unheard and led to believe that their symptoms are not real. Many patients end up feeling frustrated, isolated and alone. Their quality of life is impacted and they will regularly suffer from increased levels of anxiety and depression. To add to the burden, psychological stress can also exacerbate their GI symptoms so it will feel like an unrelenting and vicious cycle.
Over the coming weeks l plan to address different aspects of FGID’s and discuss the role that acupuncture and herbal medicine can play in helping manage symptoms.
In the mean time, here is some recommended reading: