Hypnosis for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Medical statistics and information obtained from Mayo Clinic data.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). IBS commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a chronic condition for many people and may require long term management.
Even though signs and symptoms are uncomfortable and often inconvenient, IBS does not cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
The good news is you can control your IBS symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle and stress.
As many as 1 in 5 American adults experience symptoms of IBS but fewer than 1 in 5 who have symptoms seek medical help (according to data compiled by the Mayo Clinic). It is vital that you see your doctor if you have persistent changes on bowel habits or if you have any other signs or symptoms of IBS as these may indicate a more serious condition such as Colitis, Ulcers, Crohn’s Disease or Colon Cancer. Symptoms that may indicate a more serious condition include rectal bleeding, abdominal pain that progress or occurs at night, significant weight loss.
It is not known exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome but a variety of factors play a role. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food from your stomach through your intestinal tract. If you experience IBS, the contractions may be stronger and last longer than normal causing gas, bloating and diarrhea. The opposite may also occur with weaker than normal contractions slowing food passage and leading to hard dry stools and constipation.
Abnormalities in your gastrointestinal nervous system also may play a role causing you to experience greater than normal discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool. Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can make your body overreact to the changes that normally occur in the digestive process. This overreaction can cause pain, diarrhea or constipation.
Stimuli can vary from person to person with different degrees of reaction. Common triggers include:
· Foods. The role of food allergy or intolerance in IBS is not clearly understood but many people have more severe symptoms when they eat certain things. A wide range of food is implicated including but not limited to chocolate, spices, fats, fruits, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, milk (and other dairy), carbonated beverages and alcohol.
· Hormones. Because women are twice as likely to have IBS, researchers believe that hormonal changes play a role in this condition. Many women find that symptoms are worse during or around menstrual periods.
· Illness. Sometimes other illnesses such as infections in the intestines, colon or stomach; too many bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth), or even the common flu can cause IBS symptoms to flare up.
· Stress. Most people with IBS find that their signs and symptoms are worse or more frequent during periods of increased stress such as finals week, employment stress/pressure or anxiety in general about life events or issues.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO IMPROVE SYMPTOMS
In most cases, simple changes to your lifestyle and eating habits can reduce the frequency and severity of IBS symptoms. Follow the following list of changes to help improve and possibly eliminate symptoms.
· Experiment with Fiber. When you have IBS, fiber can be a positive and a negative. Fiber helps reduce constipation but it can also make gas and cramping more severe. The best approach is to slowly introduce more fiber into your diet over a period of time and document the results. Often you can find a “sweet spot” with the amount of fiber your body will best respond to. As with any supplements, consult with your doctor before beginning a fiber regiment.
· Avoid Problem Foods. Begin a food diary and document food intake, amounts and times. Often you will be able to find patterns of good and bad reactions to specific foods and modify your intake of those foods that cause symptoms.
· Eat at Regular Times. Don’t skip meals and try to eat at regular times to help your body regulate digestion on a schedule.
· Drink Plenty of Liquids. Drink plenty of fluids every day. Water is the best fluid as it is non-irritating to your system and will keep you hydrated which helps with digestion. Limit alcohol and liquids that contain caffeine as these are known to stimulate your intestines and can make symptoms worse.
· Reduce Stress. Because stress and anxiety exacerbate IBS symptoms, it is important to reduce stress and anxiety. There are numerous activities that are proven to reduce stress including regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and hypnosis.
In study performed by the “World Journal of Gastroenterology”, hypnosis has been identified as being an effective treatment for IBS symptoms. The study was published in January of 2014. Per the study, hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been used for various applications for the treatment of acute and chronic pain conditions but also to improve mood or change certain undesirable behaviors. It has been shown that “gut directed” hypnotherapy can alleviate IBS symptoms comparable to current approaches that use medications alone. Several clinical studies indicate that 8-12 weekly hypnotherapy sessions can improve pain, GI motility, mood (improving depressive and anxiety disorders) and overall quality of life of IBS patients significantly even in the absence of medication treatment. A number of studies also show that the beneficial effects of hypnosis remained for at least 10 months even if patients did not continue therapy.
Hypnosis has been proven to be an effective way to treat IBS. Hypnosis routinely produces positive results in more than 80% of the people who use it (per results documented by the British National Health Service).
Hypnosis for IBS is an audio hypnosis recording designed to calm your stress level and positively influence your digestive system to function normally and ease pain and other symptoms associated with IBS. For additional information or to obtain Hypnosis for IBS follow this link;
David R. Wright MA, LPC, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor
National Certified Counselor