Five things you need to know about IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
I got interested in working with this condition when my daughter was diagnosed with it, but I've found that there are many myths and misconceptions around. Here are a few things you can rely on.
1.IBS is not caused by stress
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a "functional disorder". In other words, it's to do with the way your digestive system works and a single cause hasn't been identified. Stress often brings about a flare-up of IBS because stress hormones also affect the way your gut works. The combination of the two can make your symptoms worse.
2. Children can get IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is typically diagnosed when you are in your 20s, but it can affect you at any age. We can’t say exactly how many children are affected because most statistics don’t distinguish between IBS and other tummy upsets. An American study showed it could affect up to 14% of High School children and 6% of those in Middle School.
3. IBS can be seriously debilitating
As with many similar conditions, IBS isn't the same for everyone who has it. Some experience mild discomfort from time to time, others have frequent and very severe symptoms of abdominal cramping, pain, diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence (passing wind), dizziness, tiredness, nausea, vomiting and bloating.
4. IBS cannot lead to other problems
As I've said, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition, not a disease. It’s about the way your body works. It is completely separate from bowel cancer or Crohn's, which are diseases, and colitis, which is an inflammation. If you have IBS and your symptoms seem to change, especially if you start passing blood, you need to seek medical advice to rule out these other problems.
5. Hypnotherapy can help with physical conditions like IBS
Because IBS is about the way your gut works, it’s not possible to "cure" it entirely. However, controlling and reducing the symptoms can make a huge difference. It's well established that hypnotherapy can help with pain control and stress reduction. Since stress aggravates IBS, and pain is one of the most debilitating aspects of living with it, a course of hypnotherapy focussing on these two areas alone can lead to huge improvements in your quality of life.
Contact me if you want to know more.
Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes hypnotherapy-for-ibs.co.uk for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Debbie owns a multi-accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.
For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593.
Researcher & drafter: Rachel Waller.