How to overcome IBS according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It can show up with a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation. While the exact causes of IBS are still unknown, researchers have identified a number of factors that can trigger or exacerbate its symptoms.
One promising treatment for IBS is hypnotherapy, which has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in treating a range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. It has also been shown to be effective in treating IBS. In fact, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK recommends hypnotherapy as a treatment option for IBS. A major factor in IBS is stress, which has been shown to have a significant impact on the digestive system and can worsen IBS symptoms.
Stress is a natural response to challenging or threatening situations. When faced with stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which triggers a series of physiological responses that prepare your body for a fight or flight response. These responses include increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and heightened alertness. While this response is useful in short bursts, prolonged stress can have negative effects on your body, including your digestive system.
When your body is under stress, your digestive system is affected in a number of ways. Firstly, stress can cause the muscles in your digestive tract to contract more frequently and forcefully, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea. Secondly, stress can also cause your digestive system to slow down, which can result in constipation. Thirdly, stress can also affect the composition of your gut microbiome, which can lead to further digestive problems. When you suffer from IBS, stress can be particularly problematic. Research has shown that people with IBS are more likely to experience high levels of stress than the general population. This is thought to be because IBS itself can be a source of stress, as symptoms can be unpredictable and disruptive to daily life. When stress levels are high, IBS symptoms can become more severe, leading to a vicious cycle of stress and digestive problems.
So how does hypnotherapy help with IBS?
Firstly, hypnotherapy can help you manage your stress levels. As mentioned, stress is a common trigger for IBS symptoms, and hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety levels. By reducing stress levels, we can expect to see a reduction in your IBS symptoms.
Secondly, hypnotherapy can help you as an IBS sufferer to improve your gut-brain communication. The gut-brain axis is the bidirectional communication between your gut and your brain, and it plays a crucial role in your digestive health. Hypnotherapy can help you become more aware of your gut sensations and learn to control your IBS gut responses through suggestions and visualizations.
Finally, hypnotherapy can help you change your thoughts and behaviours related to IBS. For example, hypnotherapy can help you reduce your fear and anxiety around food, which can lead to feeling calmer and reduced IBS symptoms.
There are many ways in which you can manage stress (and therefore IBS), such as exercise, relaxation, and therapy. By doing so, you can improve your quality of life and reduce the impact of this challenging condition.
Hypnotherapy is a non-invasive, drug-free & side effects-free treatment for IBS. It is worth noting that any symptoms should be checked out by a doctor first to rule out any physiological issues, but where the IBS is driven by your thoughts (as it often is), hypnotherapy can be a great way to help.
If you would like to find out more, why not arrange a free no obligation initial consultation or give me a call to have a chat about your situation?