condition

What is Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

What is Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (a.k.a IBS) is a gastrointestinal condition that affects the large bowel.

There are many different estimates for how much of the population is affected by IBS, however, most reports state that around 1 in 5 Australians are thought to have symptoms of IBS at some point in their life, with women more likely to experience IBS than men.

IBS has more recently been classified as a disorder of the gut-brain interaction (DGBI) – which essentially means there is a miscommunication in the way the gut and brain send messages and information to each other.

Importantly, IBS is not classed as a disease and although it is not considered life-threatening or dangerous, the symptoms can be quite uncomfortable and can have serious impacts on a persons day to day life.

The exact causes of IBS are not clear, and there is currently no known ‘cure’ for IBS. Conventional treatments such as diet and medications are often implemented with an aim on reducing symptom severity. Although gut directed hypnotherapy is not a new concept (first study published over 40 years ago) it has gained more attention over recent years for its effectiveness in the management of IBS symptoms.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

The severity of IBS symptoms can fluctuate and they can sometimes be made worse during times of stress or after eating.

Abdominal pain and cramps

Changes in stool form (constipation, diarrhoea or a mixture of both)

Increased flatulence (farting / wind)

Bloating or a feeling of tightness in your gut (physical abdominal distention may also be present)

Urgency – sudden feeling or need to open your bowels

Passing of mucus

Feeling of incomplete evacuation of stool

Nausea, reflux and sometimes vomiting

Non gut symptoms can also include:

Fatigue / feeling lethargic

Depression

Anxiety

Headaches

Backaches

What is Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (a.k.a IBS) is a gastrointestinal condition that affects the large bowel.

How is IBS diagnosed?

Although IBS is not a disease, it must still be diagnosed by a medical practitioner. This is because the symptoms of IBS can overlap with symptoms of other more serious medical conditions that must be ruled out first.

If all medical tests come back as normal, the Rome IV criteria can be used to diagnose IBS.

Essentially, a person must have recurrent abdominal pain for at least 1 day each week in the last 3 months associated with at least 2 or more of the below symptoms:

  • Pain related to bowel motions
  • Change in the frequency of stools
  • Change in stool consistency or appearance

Important

As a Nutritionist and Clinical Hypnotherapist, I can not diagnose IBS.

A clear diagnosis must be obtained by a qualified medical practitioner before implementing any treatments or protocols.

What is Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (a.k.a IBS) is a gastrointestinal condition that affects the large bowel.

How can Gut-directed Hypnotherapy help?

Gut-directed hypnotherapy is a type of therapy that uses hypnosis to provide symptom relief for those with IBS.

During gut-directed hypnotherapy, the therapist guides the individual into a state of deep relaxation, then uses suggestions and imagery to help the individual manage their abdominal and bowel discomfort.

Studies on hypnotherapy for IBS date back to the 1980’s and have demonstrated it to be an effective tool for reducing IBS symptoms such as pain / bloating and for improving stool form and frequency.

It’s important to note that gut-directed hypnotherapy should only be performed by a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in this technique. It is not a substitute for medical treatment and should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for IBS.

However, not everyone is a good candidate for gut-directed hypnotherapy. Individuals with certain psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia or severe depression, may not be suitable for this type of therapy. Additionally, individuals who are unable to enter a state of hypnosis, such as those with severe anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may not benefit from this type of therapy.

What is Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (a.k.a IBS) is a gastrointestinal condition that affects the large bowel.

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