wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 1 -
Just a bit about me. My name is Ann Jalobaand I run a hypnotherapy practice inSheffield and London, England. In the past Ihave developed an online counselling andsupport service for people with cancer and Ihaver worked in health publishing, runningthe website of the Royal College of Nursingand was deputy editor of Nursing Standardmagazine.
One of the areas in which I specialise in myhypnotherapy practice is treating IrritableBowel Syndrome. I have found many of myclients are asking the same sort of questionswhen they first come to see me.
I thought it might help both those of youliving with this distressing condition andthose therapists treating it to share it. wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 2 -
This publication aims to give up to date andreliable information on Irritable BowelSyndrome. However, if you think you sufferfrom this condition you should contact yourGP as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
This work is licenced under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. To view a copy of this licence, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/ or send a letter to CreativeCommons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300,San Francisco, California 94105, USA. Ann Jaloba
wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 3 -
How can my stress affect my IBS?
Because of the particular link between thegut and the brain, stress can affect the wayyour digestive system works in a very directway. This is obvious if you think about it. Nearly all of us have experienced feelingnauseous or having an upset tummy whenwe are nervous or anxious. An Americanresearcher called Dr Douglas Drossman hasrecently found that nearly three quarters ofpeople in the general population (that ispeople who haven't sought help for IBS orsimilar conditions) say they suffer fromchanges in bowel function as a reaction tostressful situations and over half of thesealso have pain and severe discomfort.
So stress and digestive problems are veryclosely linked. Research into exactly howthis happens hasn't yet found the wholeanswer, but it does seem that chemicalchanges in the brain, brought on by stressfulsituations such as a bad time at work orhaving to do a big presentation, can affectthe way what you eat goes through yourdigestive system. wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 4 -
But everyone suffers stress these days. Why have I got IBS and my friend hasn't?
Everyone is unique and different peoplereact to stress in different ways. Somepeople are better able to cope with certainsorts of stress. For others, its effects comeout in different ways.
Some experts say people with IBS may findit more difficult to cope with stressfulsituations, events which some people canjust shrug off can spark episodes of IBS inothers and some people may also justexperience stressful situations in a strongerway, and therefore feel they have chronic oracute stress for long periods of their lives. wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 5 -
Okay I understand that, but that can't account for the pain I feel
Yes it can. Stress and pain, or more correctlythe perception of pain, are very closelylinked. Again this is obvious if you stop tothink about it. If you have a headache andyou know you have a bad day at workcoming up, it probably feels worse than ifyour head hurts and all you have to do thatday is walk along a golden sandy beach. Stress related chemicals can affect how weperceive the pain signals our brains send outwhatever circumstance we find ourselves in. But here again the close link between thedigestive system and the brain canparticularly affect your IBS. The pain signalsyour brain sends out affect the nerveendings in your gut very directly - and thatcan lead to a horrid loop. The pain is makingyour IBS worse which in turn is making thepain worse. wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 6 -
I understand that but it's awful. What can I do?
Actually quite a lot. Because of the close rolestress plays in making your IBS worse if wecan control the stress it is likely that your IBSsymptoms will decline. I always say that as ahypnotherapist I can work with you to controlyour IBS not cure it. Also teamwork is keyhere -a good hypnotherapist will work withyou to access other sources of help as well. For example, some psychological drugssuch as amitriptyline can help and your GPcan prescribe that. wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 7 -
Do I need to come to a hypnotherapist? Can't I just avoid stressful situations by myself?
Possibly and some people do. But a skilledtherapist can help you to find what particulartriggers make IBS worse for you and thenteach you how to cope with them. The otherkey thing a good hypnotherapist will do isteach you how to control and manage yourpain. This in itself can lead to a decrease inyour symptoms. wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 8 -
This is fascinating. Just finding this out makes me think I can get in control. Is there anything else I can read?
There has been some very good researchinto hypnotherapy and IBS in recent years. Apioneer in this field is Professor PeterWhorwell from Manchester University, whosays that hypnotherapy is over 70 per centeffective. You can read more about hisresearch at. Another good source ofinformation is the IBS research update,produced by a team at the Central Middlesexhospital in London. wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 9 -
You can find out more about the programmeI run to deal with Irritable Bowel Syndromeby visiting
A typical course of treatment would be sixsessions. These would cover:
I work in Sheffield and in London, but I alsorun Internet sessions.
If you would like to find out more you canphone me on 0114 268 6500 or email me [email protected]wellthought quick guides Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 10
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