About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Abdominal pain, bloating, and an abnormal bowel habit are common IBS symptoms of IBS, but there are also many others. Living with them day in and day out can leave sufferers feeling alone and hopeless.

Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy can help to alleviate IBS symptoms and lift the shadow cast by IBS.

IBS Symptoms

  • Abdominal distension
  • Constipation
  • Bladder symptoms
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Anxiety
  • Gas
  • Unpredictable bowel habits
  • Incontinence
  • Diarrhoea
  • Low mood
  • Thigh pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Piles
  • Nausea

The Normal Gut…

In simple terms, the digestive tract is an 8-metre tube that runs from the mouth at one end to the anus at the other. Food is propelled along this tube, and as it moves, the nutrients that we need are absorbed across the gut lining into the bloodstream.

Different parts of the gut have their own specific functions. Between the mouth and the small intestine, physical and chemical processes work in tandem to crush, move, and digest food. Leftovers, pushed through into the colon, feed colonies of bacteria and other microorganisms – your gut flora – which in turn release more nutrients and calories for absorption. Any remaining matter is expelled as waste, or poo. 

A combination of hormones and nerve signals keep the whole system running smoothly, at the right speed. Although we can barely feel our guts, we do get occasional clues as to their workings: our tummy swells as it fills with food, or our intestines might gurgle, and so on.

Typically, it takes approximately 7 hours for a meal to reach the colon, and then a further 40 hours for whatever’s left to arrive at the rectum.

… vs the IBS Gut

Surprisingly, perhaps, the IBS Gut looks the same as a normal gut. It’s not visibly diseased. The difference is functional. Your gut isn’t working properly, and as a result, you suffer from all those well-known symptoms that make you feel so lousy.

Communication between the gut and brain are affected too and alters how people with IBS sense pain. 

Pain is the body’s way of warning us about a problem, so that we do something about it. However, in IBS our pain system malfunctions.

With IBS, the levels of pain and symptoms you experience are the result of too many messages flying back and forth between an overly sensitive gut and an overly ‘listening’ brain. It’s as if the IBS gut is on a hair-trigger, ready to fire off a warning at the slightest hint of danger, while the brain is poised and waiting to jump into action. All this jitteriness translates into extra levels of pain and discomfort for you.

Gut-directed hypnotherapy can dampen down the messages coming from the gut, and to reduce the attention that your ‘jumpy’ brain is paying to them. With the aid of hypnotherapy IBS can usually be brought under control.

It is useful to think of IBS as a condition where the gut is oversensitive and overreactive.

Professor Whorwell, Gastroenterologist

For more information about how hypnosis can help with IBS please click here.