NHS consultant Peter Whorrell has conducted research suggesting that Cognitive Hypnotherapy is the most effective treatment for IBS.
Our therapists at The Clerkenwell Group work with a number of clients, using hypnotherapy to treat irritable bowel syndrome with high levels of success. We believe in brief therapy, and IBS isn’t usually an issue that requires many sessions in order to see a result.
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disorder of the gut (including the bowels). This means that whilst there is no abnormality to the structure of the gut, it doesn’t function properly. As many as 1 in 5 people develop IBS in the UK at some stage in their life. It can affect you at any age but commonly develops in teenagers and young adults. IBS is also twice as common in women as in men.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Intermittent pain or discomfort in various parts of the abdomen of varying degrees from mild to severe:
- The length of time for bouts of pain may vary
- Pain often eases when you pass stools (motions or faeces) or wind
- The pain is said to feel like colic or a spasm
- Bloating or swelling of the abdomen
- Passing more wind than usual
- Bouts of diarrhoea or constipation
- Alternate bouts of diarrhoea and constipation
- Small pellet-like stools, or watery or ‘ribbony’ stools.
- Mucus may be mixed with the stools
- You may not feel like you’re ‘finished’ after going to the toilet
- You may experience ‘urgency’, or needing the toilet very quickly
Other symptoms include:
- Muscle pains
- Feeling quickly full after eating
- Bladder symptoms (an associated irritable bladder)
Some sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome only experience occasional and mild symptoms, whereas others suffer unpleasant symptoms for long periods of time. Many people are somewhere in between, experiencing flare-ups of symptoms at various times.
Often, doctors will group people suffering from IBS into one of three categories:
- People who experience abdominal pain/discomfort with other symptoms mainly consisting of bloating and constipation
- People who experience abdominal pain/discomfort with other symptoms mainly consisting of urgency to get to the toilet and diarrhoea
- People who alternate between constipation and diarrhoea
In practice, however, many people will fall between these distinctions rather than any neat category.
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