Hypnotherapy eases IBS symptomsCan even prevent some cases
Nine out of ten 10 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) benefited from hypnotherapy, and 4 in 10 saw their symptoms clear up completely, according to new research by a leading UK gastroenterologist.
IBS covers a range of unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation. It is a long-term condition and although not a life threatening illness, it has a major negative effect on the quality of life of those who suffer from it.
Professor Roland Valori of the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and editor of the journal Frontline Gastroenterology explains that the underlying cause of IBS is a sensitive gut. Treatments such as eliminating certain foodstuffs can help alleviate the symptoms, but normally only for a short time.
However, he has found that hypnotherapy is one of the best ways to treat IBS. His experience of using it on the first 100 IBS patients showed that it significantly improved symptoms in nine out of 10 of them. Hypnotherapy stopped symptoms altogether in four out of 10, while the remainder said they felt more in control of their symptoms. "To be frank, I have never looked back" said the professor.
Professor Valori also pointed out that research into the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for treating IBS was first carried out in the 1980s, but that many doctors do not seem to be aware of this or have ignored the results, possibly because they do not believe that it works.
"It is pretty clear to me that it has an amazing effect," he said. "It seems to work particularly well on younger female patients with typical symptoms, and those who have only had IBS for a relatively short time."
Frontline Gastroenterology is published by the British Medical Journal.
This article was published on Thu 18 March 2010
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