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HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
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Mind-Body Treatments Ease Irritable Bowel
      05/29/06 01:43 PM

Mind-Body Treatments Ease Irritable Bowel
05.25.06

THURSDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Short courses of hypnosis therapy or cognitive therapy can calm the distressing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for the estimated 15 percent of adult Americans who suffer from the disorder, a new study finds.

IBS isn't a life-threatening condition, but it's an uncomfortable nuisance, with symptoms including abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, food intolerances, constipation or diarrhea.

What's more, "patients with the more severe form of IBS may have heightened sensitivity to the side effects of medications [prescribed for the condition]," noted Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and physiology at the University of California Los Angeles. That means "there's a very important role for these kinds of [mind-body] approaches," he said.

Mayer moderated a "Mind and Body Effects on GI Health" panel on Wednesday, part of the Digestive Disease Week 2006 annual meeting in Los Angeles.

In one study, just four sessions of cognitive therapy helped ease patient's IBS symptoms, according to researcher Dr. Jeffrey M. Lackner, director of the behavioral medicine clinic and assistant professor of medicine at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, SUNY.

In the study, Lackner's team assigned 59 patients to either a 10-week therapy course, a four-week course, or to a wait list. Both the short and long cognitive therapy sessions covered the same ground, but the short course included a self-study workbook developed just for the study.

Included in the instruction was information meant to undo some of the stressful habits that experts say people with IBS tend to have, including negative thinking patterns which can make them anxious and exacerbate symptoms. IBS patients also tend to have poor coping skills, which causes them to react more stressfully to life's ups and downs. "These people spend a lot of time in their head, engaging in worrisome thinking," Lackner said.

Instruction in muscle-relaxation training was included, and participants were encouraged to be more flexible in their problem-solving skills and to learn skills that would help them take control of their symptoms, such as learning to relax.

"Whether the patients went to 10 sessions or four, they achieved clinically significant improvements in symptom relief and quality of life and were satisfied [with the program]," Lackner said. Previous research by others has found the same benefits from cognitive therapy.

Seventy-four percent of those who took the long course said their symptoms improved moderately to substantially, and 73 percent of the short-course patients reported the same improvements.

Likewise, hypnotherapy -- which, among other things, involves techniques such as visualizing a fully functioning GI tract -- helped IBS sufferers reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, reported Dr. Magnus Simren, an associate professor and consultant at Goteborg University in Sweden.

He led two studies testing the therapy. In one trial, 87 patients with IBS were cared for in a university hospital; in another, 48 received care in a county hospital.

In each group, about half were assigned to receive "gut-directed" hypnotherapy for one hour a week for 12 weeks, in which the therapist concentrated on helping them with their IBS. The other half of patients were assigned to a control group that did not get hypnotherapy.

Simren evaluated the patients at the start of the study, right after treatment and then again at six and 12 months later, asking them to complete questionnaires focused on their quality of life, anxiety, depression and GI symptoms.

"The hypnotherapy groups improved significantly regarding GI symptoms," he said. "The control groups did not."

While 52 percent of those getting hypnotherapy improved significantly, just 32 percent of the control group participants improved.

Improvement was most marked for abdominal pain, bloating and distension; less so for bowel habits. Improvements lasted or even increased at the one-year mark. Anxiety and depression improved at one year in the smaller study of 48 patients, but not in the group of 87. The reason for that disparity in results is unclear, Simren said.

What's also unclear is just how hypnotherapy works to fight IBS. Simren's results are in line with other studies that have also found improvements, however. According to Mayer, hypnotherapy may alter the way the brain reacts to stress, reducing levels of body arousal.

According to Simren, patients eager for relief don't much care how hypnotherapy works, just that it does. "I tell them, 'This is how you can get control of your symptoms,'" he said. And most are satisfied with that explanation. "Patients are very open-minded," he said.

The therapy doesn't necessarily have to be ongoing, the experts speculated, especially once patients learn the new skills.

While patients don't have to find a therapist who has experience dealing with IBS, it helps, Simren and Lackner agreed. "It's very important that the therapist does have an interest in bodily symptoms, not just the mind," Simren said.

http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2006/05/25/hscout532907.html



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Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She’s the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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Entire thread
Subject Posted by Posted on
* Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy/Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy HeatherAdministrator 07/14/03 01:52 PM
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. * Rapid Response to Cognitive Behavior Therapy Predicts Treatment Outcome in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome HeatherAdministrator   03/11/10 01:55 PM
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. * Irritable Bowel Syndrome Audio Program Celebrates 10 Years of Success HeatherAdministrator   05/08/08 11:05 AM
. * Mind/Body psychological treatments for irritable bowel syndrome HeatherAdministrator   03/14/08 10:31 AM
. * Hypnosis and behavioral therapy ease irritable bowel syndrome HeatherAdministrator   02/14/08 02:15 PM
. * Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy Effective for Persistent IBS in Children HeatherAdministrator   12/06/07 03:09 PM
. * Short- and long-term benefit of relaxation training for irritable bowel syndrome HeatherAdministrator   10/10/07 12:46 PM
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. * Cognitive Behavior Therapy Improves Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome HeatherAdministrator   09/13/07 12:32 PM
. * How Does Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Work? HeatherAdministrator   08/08/07 01:12 PM
. * Hypnotherapy for IBS HeatherAdministrator   07/17/07 12:23 PM
. * Barriers to Mind-Body Medicine for IBS HeatherAdministrator   06/11/07 04:21 PM
. * Hypnotherapy Called a Cure for Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome HeatherAdministrator   05/23/07 02:56 PM
. * A Comparative Analysis of Clinical Outcomes in the Refractive IBS Patient vs. the Newly Diagnosed HeatherAdministrator   01/21/07 03:35 PM
. * Hypnosis eases irritable bowel syndrome HeatherAdministrator   10/26/06 11:08 AM
. * Biofeedback for Functional Constipation HeatherAdministrator   07/05/06 05:46 PM
. * Mind-Body Treatments Ease Irritable Bowel HeatherAdministrator   05/29/06 01:43 PM
. * Gut-directed hypnotherapy upon health-related quality of life in patients with IBS HeatherAdministrator   05/13/06 12:34 PM
. * Dutch Study on IBS Hypnotherapy for Children HeatherAdministrator   04/02/06 03:46 PM
. * Hypnotherapy an effective treatment for IBS HeatherAdministrator   10/11/05 01:24 PM
. * Biofeedback Helpful in Outlet Dysfunction Constipation HeatherAdministrator   09/01/05 11:26 AM
. * Hypnotherapy could be a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care HeatherAdministrator   11/08/04 04:26 PM
. * Cognitive-behavioral therapy, hypnosis can help soothe irritable bowel syndrome HeatherAdministrator   08/08/04 02:41 PM
. * Hypnosis May Help Non-Responsive Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients HeatherAdministrator   04/27/04 08:32 PM
. * Hypnosis treatment for severe irritable bowel syndrome HeatherAdministrator   04/27/04 04:59 PM
. * The growing case for hypnosis as adjunctive therapy for functional gastrointestinal disorders HeatherAdministrator   03/09/04 11:42 AM
. * Neuroscience looks at tthe remarkable effects of meditation on the brain HeatherAdministrator   12/16/03 11:48 AM
. * Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. HeatherAdministrator   11/04/03 02:57 PM
. * Hypnosis for IBS HeatherAdministrator   10/20/03 03:27 PM
. * Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Vs. Education and Desipramine Vs. Placebo HeatherAdministrator   09/16/03 03:52 PM
. * Long-term improvement in functional dyspepsia using hypnotherapy. HeatherAdministrator   07/18/03 12:46 PM
. * Hypnotherapy in irritable bowel syndrome: a large-scale audit HeatherAdministrator   07/15/03 06:27 PM
. * Overview of Published Research To Date on Hypnosis for IBS HeatherAdministrator   07/14/03 03:32 PM

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