This week I was supposed to start the next YouTube series on IBS and different foods, but something unexpected happened: I caught the cold/cough that every one of my acu clients came in with last week! And because I’m a stickler for high quality, I didn’t want to be writing or recording while my head was in a fog and my voice was nasaly and raspy.

But because I’m nerdy and find a lesson in every situation, I thought I’d use this opportunity to talk about this in an IBS-related way.

For the first time in a long time this week, I experienced a bout of constipation. If you’ve heard my IBS story then you know that I used to struggle with IBS-C, but it’s been years since I’ve had to really worry about it. Well this week, along with all the usual cold symptoms like stuffy, sniffly nose, itchy throat cough, slight chills, I also had lovely pellet poos that insisted on sticking around and jamming up my gut.

So why am I oversharing? Because it might be easy to dismiss the poo issues as unrelated to a common cold, but from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the two go hand-in-hand.

The Lung and Large Intestine TCM organ systems are very closely related and often when one system is affected, the other will be as well. When we look at IBS, often bowel issues can show up in the Lung system as exhaustion, fatigue, shortness of breath, and depression (the Lungs are particularly affected by sadness). Because your intestines are out of balance, they cause an imbalance in your Lungs. And in my case, since my Lungs were out of balance from the common cold, my intestines got affected. But once I started recovering, my poos went back to normal too.

An important note here is that everyone’s constitution is different, so everyone’s organ imbalances show up differently too. Thinking back to the last time you have a respiratory infection, did your IBS symptoms also change? Did your IBS-C get stuck, or your IBS-D more sticky?

One easy way to help build your Lung energy (and in turn strengthen your Large Intestine) is by adopting a regular breathing practice. I talked about this in a recent YouTube episode, so if you missed it now’s a good time to catch up! In addition to healing with foods, I’ve been focusing on consciously breathing through my nose whenever possible this week to speed up my healing process so by next week we’ll launch the next YouTube series healthy and high-vibing!