Irritable Bowel Syndrome – What is it?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a generalised description for uncomfortable and often painful symptoms in the abdomen including the stomach and bowels. Unfortunately the cause of IBS is not known and sufferers tend to adopt management of the symptoms rather than being offered a cure. It is estimated that IBS affects around 15 to 20% of the population and more women tend to suffer with it than men. Making IBS sufferes need to check for where the nearest toilet is wherever they are.
Typical symptoms related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome include discomfort, bloating, and changing bowel habits which can range from diarrhea to constipation. Some of these symptoms can be embarrassing which can lead to restrictions in lifestyle either to do with the occupation and/or social activities.
Causes of IBS
There is nothing definitive that causes IBS. Some practitioners suspect gut infections or parasites. Indeed the risk of getting IBS increases significantly after a gastro-intestinal infection. Some research suggests a connection between stress and the reaction of the gut to prolonged stress.
How is IBS Managed?
As there is no known cure for IBS treatment tends to focus on reducing symptoms and being aware of triggers and avoiding those triggers. In order to relieve symptoms adjustments for meal size, frequency and contents may be introduced. For example 5 lighter meals might be better than 3 heavier meals. Medication such as anti-sposmodic drugs and stomach acid inhibitors maybe prescribed amongst other drugs. Often a fibre supplement is suggested. Then there are the psychological interventions that can help a patient’s confidence and stress levels.
Hypnosis Helps IBS
Learning self hypnosis can be a great way of reducing stress and be a highly effective part of your IBS management program. When you consider that when we are stressed we can produce more stomach acid, anything that can help us feel more relaxed, a lessen acid production, even during work or social activities, will help the confidence of any IBS sufferer.
In fact hypnosis has been used for many years at a Manchester hospital to specifically help people who have IBS. Professor Whorwell has lead his IBS clinic with a positive role for hypnosis and it’s regular practice in the form of self hypnosis can do in reducing IBS pain and discomfort.
Help for IBS Sufferers
It’s important that if you think you suffer from or have been diagnosed with IBS, that your doctor remains at the centre of your treatment program. Hypnosis is considered an effective addition to the range of treatments for IBS.
Steven Harold teaches self hypnosis to his hypnotherapy patients in London helping them to reduce their stress levels and aiding the management of the symptoms of IBS.
Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Clinical Hypnotherapist – London and Essex