“…all symptoms of pain, abdominal bloating, and bowel-habit disturbance as well as general well-being improved in patients who underwent treatment with hypnosis but not in those who received placebo medication and support.”
(Whorwell, Prior, & Faragher, 1984)
Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a relatively common condition in the UK, affecting approximately 20% of the population. Symptoms can develop at any age but often are first noticed between the ages of 20 and 30, with women twice as likely to experience it than men. One study indicated that 23% of IBS sufferers had not told anyone about their symptoms, only 50% had told their doctor, 66% carried a change of clothes and 3-% regularly used incontinence pads.
The good news is that there is effective help available! Gut focused hypnotherapy has been shown to significantly improve symptoms and is now listed in the NICE Guidelines as a recognised IBS therapy approach. It was first used as part of a controlled clinical trial in Manchester, led by Professor Whorwell. I have been lucky enough to attend a workshop with Professor Whorwell and am now able to offer Gut Focused Hypnotherapy to my clients where appropriate, supported by his dietary advice.
Types of IBS
IBS – A: Symptoms alternate between diarrhea and constipation.
IBS – C: Constipation is the main symptom.
IBS – D: Diarrhea is the main symptom
Additional symptoms can include:
Fear of eating
Negative impact on sexual intercourse (pain, incontinence, flatulence)
Chest and back pain
Urinary and gynaecological symptoms
Absence from work
Reduced quality of life