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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition effecting the digestive system which can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting from just a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods. People who suffer IBS very often experience anxiety and/or depression.
The symptoms of IBS may ease after opening your bowels. IBS is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men although this could be because men may not seek help.
The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but most experts think that it’s related to increased sensitivity of the gut and problems digesting food. These problems may mean that there is a greater sensitivity to pain coming from your gut, and you may become constipated or have diarrhoea because your food passes through your gut either too slowly or too quickly.
Stress plays a significant part in IBS and clients often report an improvement in symptoms once the stress/anxiety is reduced or removed.
Hypnotherapy is being used increasingly to help IBS sufferers when other treatments have not been effective. In fact the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) now recognise hypnotherapy as a suitable treatment for IBS.
Hypnotherapy treatment for IBS involves creating a personalised therapy which includes relaxing your mind and body, removing any worries and fears, eating more healthily, decreasing the sensitivity of the gut and improving the client’s confidence.
Generally most IBS clients will require four to six sessions to address both the IBS and any underlying issues.