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This essay will be describing the condition irritable bowel syndrome. I will also be discussing the possible uses of hypnosis in helping to treat the aspects of this condition.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition of the gut and it has been noted that it is a condition which affects about 1 in 10 people at some time. Statistically it has been recorded that it is more prevalent among people between the ages of 25 – 45 and females are more affected than males. However this condition can cause problems at any age to both sexes and ethnicity may be a factor to be considered. For example data for Pakistan shows that males between 16-30 have a higher rate of IBS.
There are many symptoms that many IBS suffers endure such as: Feeling and being sick by vomiting
Pain in the abdomen
Feeling that you haven’t fully emptied all faeces from the rectum Stress and anxiety
to list a few.
This condition causes great problems with the sufferer as it can destroy and disrupt their day to day life. Before a person with IBS and a hypnotherapist work together the IBS patient should have already seen a GP and consequently been diagnosed. An ethical hypnotherapist would need to know that all other, more serious conditions such as bowel cancer, have been ruled out and that the problem is IBS for a fact. The doctor should have already ruled out thyroid problems, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease as these problems present similar symptoms such as abdominal pain and unusual defecation. There are other possible symptoms that are not necessarily related to the gut area and these have been listed as Headaches
Some people experience constipation whereas others will have problems with diarrhoea and about a third of sufferers will have trouble with both together. So what are the causes of IBS?
At this point in time the exact cause of IBS hasn’t been identified but there are a few factors that have been recognized as “triggers’ for the symptoms to manifest. Although it may differ from person to person there may be certain foods that can exacerbate the symptoms such as irregularity of meal times and insufficient fibre in the diet can also factor as triggers as well as stress. There is no known cure for this condition but there are a few treatments used as reduction in symptom techniques used widely today. It is very important for the patient to educate themselves or be educated about their condition. This will promote awareness and enable them to understand IBS better. Advice given would include adjustments to diet and methods of relaxation. The GP will prescribe any medication suitable for their patient. As there is no identified exact cause of IBS it is commonly known as a disorder of the interaction between the brain and the gastro-intestinal tract. Routine clinical investigation for patient symptoms normally result in no abnormalities.
IBS is not life threatening and does not reduce life expectancy in an individual but its effects can and are quite devastating to some. It can cause chronic pain and fatigue and consequently sufferers will have more problems with employment as more time is taken off work due to IBS related problems. Some studies have stated that 60% of IBS sufferers are found to also be sufferers of psychological problems such as depression and/or anxiety and it has been noted that up to 50% of IBS sufferers have turned to alternative medicine and methods of dealing with their problems after feeling that their treatment with their GP has been unsatisfactory for them. Examples include probiotics, herbal remedies, acupuncture, yoga and relaxation techniques among others. An ethical hypnotherapist must consider talking to the patients GP [with their permission ]to clarify information and put them in the picture of...