IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It has been acknowledged for a long time now that people suffering from IBS can have the symptoms alleviated through the use of Hypnotherapy.

Cause

The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not known. However, health experts believe faulty communication between the brain and the intestinal tract causes the symptoms of IBS.

A complex combination of elements, including psychological stress, hormones, the immune system, and chemicals called neurotransmitters. Appear to interfere with messages between the brain and the bowel. The miscommunication causes abnormal muscle contractions or spasms, which often cause cramping pain. The spasms may either speed the passage of stool, causing diarrhoea, or slow it down, causing constipation or bloating.

People who have IBS seem to have unusually sensitive intestines. It is not known why their intestines are more likely to react strongly, to the elements that contribute to IBS. People who have IBS, may start having symptoms because of one or more factors, including:

  • Stress/Anxiety may affect the movements of the intestines and also may affect the way a person feels pain. (Stress may also have the same effect on people who do not have IBS.)
  • Eating (though no particular foods have been associated with IBS)
  • Trapped gas that causes bloating
  • Hormonal changes, such as during the menstrual cycle
  • Some medicines, such as antibiotics
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IBS Research

Hypnotherapy seems to be very effective for easing the distressing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and in a goodly proportion of cases, clears up symptoms altogether, reveal experts during a wide ranging discussion of the condition in a Frontline Gastroenterology podcast.

His experience of using hypnotherapy in the first 100 IBS patients treated with it showed that it significantly improved symptoms in nine out of 10 of them. It stopped symptoms altogether in four out of 10, while the remainder said they felt more in control of their symptoms. "To be frank, I have never looked back," he says.

Doctors have tended to diagnose IBS when they couldn't find any other cause for the symptoms, making it something of a "wastebasket diagnosis," he says. It is "extremely important" to get away from that and recognise that IBS is a constellation of symptoms in its own right.

Medics at The University of Manchester have discovered a way to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) using hypnotherapy.

Up to eight million people in Britain suffer from IBS, with symptoms including diarrhoea, pain and bloating. The condition can seriously affect sufferers' quality of life and finding treatment can be difficult, leading many doctors to feel they can do little to help.

Most recently, two hundred and fifty patients who have suffered from IBS for over two years were given twelve one-hour sessions, during which they were given an explanation of how the gut works and what causes their symptoms.

"IBS is ideal for treatment with IBS hypnosis, as there is no structural damage to the body," explained Professor Whorwell. "During the hypnotherapy, sufferers learn how to influence and gain control of their gut function, and then seem to be able to change the way the brain modulates their gut activity."

With a success-rate of about 70% Professor Whorwell believes that, although labour-intensive, hypnotherapy could be an extremely effective treatment for the condition; and a less expensive alternative to new, costly drugs coming onto the market.