What Is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.You may find some of the symptoms of IBS ease after going to the toilet and opening your bowels.
IBS is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men. The condition is often lifelong, although it may improve over several years.
The symptoms of IBS are usually worse after eating and tend to come and go in episodes.
Most people have flare-ups of symptoms that last a few days. After this time, the symptoms usually improve, but may not disappear completely. In some people, the symptoms seem to be triggered by something they have had to eat or drink.
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Disclaimer - Results very from person to person. Hypnotherapy is not used to treat or diagnose any disease.
Hypnotherapy Manchester NICE guidelines
Hypnotherapy for IBS is now recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a possible treatment. NICE recommend that people living with IBS who do not respond to pharmacological treatments after 12 months consider a referral for psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy and/or psychological therapy.Hypnotherapy for IBS can help an individual learn relaxation techniques, as well as learning new ways to manage stress. Our state of mind can have an impact on our physical well-being. Therefore the tension, stress and anxiety often caused by IBS may undermine the immune system and further compromise health. Learning how to relax and manage stressful feelings can become useful life tools. Hypnosis can help to promote positive thinking and develop coping strategies.
A number of clinical studies have found hypnotherapy for IBS to be an effective treatment. Suggested benefits include improved well-being and quality of life, as well as reduced constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain.
Generally, IBS treatment will include:
It has been found that six hours of treatment over one-hour sessions, or 12 half-hour sessions are effective. However, some people have seen results after just one or two sessions of hypnotherapy for IBS. Every person is different. Your progress will depend on you and the plan you have devised with the hypnotherapist.
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What causes IBS?
The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but most experts think that it's related to increased sensitivity of the gut and problems digesting food. These problems may mean that you are more sensitive to pain coming from your gut, and you may become constipated or have diarrhoea because your food passes through your gut either too slowly or too quickly. Psychological factors such as stress may also play a part in IBS.
How IBS is treated
There is no cure for IBS but hypnotherapy can help. The symptoms can often be managed by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
For example, it may help to:
Medication is sometimes prescribed for people with IBS to treat the individual symptoms they experience. IBSS is unpredictable. You may go for many months without any symptoms, then have a sudden flare-up. The condition can also be painful and debilitating, which can have a negative impact on your quality of life and emotional state. Many people with IBS will experience feelings of depression and anxiety, at some point.