Feel bloated Cramps

Feel bloated Cramps

The problem may be in your BRAIN

Angela Harewood still cringes at the memory of the comments she used to get from strangers about her advanced pregnancy.‘People would say things like “not long to go now” pointing to my swollen tummy,’ recalls Angela, 48, a company director from Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire. ‘It didn’t happen just once, but over and over again. The only trouble was, I wasn’t pregnant — just very badly constipated.’

All in the head? One way of treating IBS is ­hypnotising patients into a deeply relaxed state and asking them to place their hand on their ­stomach and ­generate feelings of warmth and comfort
All in the head? One way of treating IBS is ­hypnotising patients into a deeply relaxed state and asking them to place their hand on their ­stomach and ­generate feelings of warmth and comfort

Angela is one of the millions of Britons thought to suffer from Irritable Bowel ­Syndrome (IBS) — a problem with gut function which can cause symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, painful ­cramping, bloating and flatulence. The symptoms can be so severe in some cases that sufferers have to give up work. It is notoriously difficult to treat and, while the symptoms are undeniably real, tests often reveal no obvious physical cause, explains Dr Julian Stern, who treated Angela at the specialist bowel ­centre at St Mark’s ­Hospital, London.

For Angela, treatment at St Mark’s proved to be the turning point, thanks to a new approach that focuses on the link between the mind and bowel health. Angela’s symptoms started after the birth of her son, Ashley, when she was 30.
‘My constipation was awful: ­sometimes I couldn’t go to the loo for up to ten […]

A digested guide to perfect digestion

A digested guide to perfect digestion: Experts reveal how to relieve common symptoms – with some very surprising advice

We are a nation obsessed with our guts. From bloating to bowel issues, an estimated nine million of us have problems with our digestive systems. ‘The number of people being diagnosed with digestive disorders is on the rise, as people are taking their symptoms more seriously and are getting diagnosed earlier,’ says Dr Anton Emmanuel of the gut health charity CORE. One in five of us suffers with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterised by diarrhoea, stomach cramps and bloating.

Nine million sufferers: One in five of us suffers from Irritable Bowel SyndromeNine million sufferers: One in five of us suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Many of us resort to all kinds of measures for a healthy gut, chomping through bowls of high-fibre cereals and guzzling water. But could we be unwittingly making our symptoms worse?

Here, some of the country’s leading digestive experts dispel the most common myths and advise how to have a happy gut.


IBS patients are often told to eat more fibre. ‘But this is the worst thing for a significant number of patients, particularly when it comes to bran,’ says Peter Whorwell, professor of medicine at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester and a leading authority on IBS.

‘While eating more fibre undoubtedly helps to sort out mild constipation, it’s rarely helpful for severe IBS symptoms and it won’t help diarrhoea. Fibre is a bulking agent which gives the bowel even more work to do, so it’s likely to worsen symptoms in people with severe constipation.’

Instead, he advises white bread, white pasta, […]

IBS Are you Suffering

IBS Are you Suffering

Thanks largely to the work of Peter Whorwell of Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, hypnosis is now acknowledged by the medical profession as an effective treatment for IBS. However, Peters research doesn’t mean that it is universal one size fits all. It is the opinion of NICE that hypnosis is the best treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome after diagnosis and medication has failed or partly failed.

This said your doctor will not, unless you are one of the fortunate whose GP has trained as a Hypnotherapist, be able to give you hypnosis as a treatment. Not all ‘lay’ hypnotherapists will be able to help either you should consult a hypnotherapist who specialises and ideally who has had IBS themselves.

Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common disorders of the digestive system. The organisation IBS Network estimates that it affects one third of people in the UK at some point and to some extent, and one in ten people have symptoms bad enough to visit their doctor. IBS is characterised by a collection of symptoms affecting the small or large bowel, which can cause pain and discomfort.

The exact causes of IBS are unknown. IBS sufferers usually have no physical abnormalities in the bowel, so it has been suggested that there is a strong link between stress and IBS. What seems to happen with Irritable Bowel Syndrome is that the bowel becomes super sensitive and […]

Hypnosis for Irritable Bowel

Hypnosis for Irritable Bowel

Hypnosis for Irritable Bowel – Relax, you’re getting sleepy … very sleepy

That may sound like a Hollywood cliché — the glassy-eyed subject lulled by a swinging watch — but some researchers believe the peaceful state achieved in hypnosis can help people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

At a meeting this week of the World Congress of Psychosomatic Medicine, gastroenterologist Peter Whorwell, MD, will discuss more than 20 years of research showing that hypnosis can not only improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, but can even alter the underlying physical problems that cause the symptoms.

The movie version of hypnosis is not much like the real thing. Instead, says Whorwell, in his practice it is more like meditation, yoga, or guided imagery. For treating IBS, a hypnotherapist guides a patient in relaxation exercises and helps him focus on the muscles of the stomach that are so critical in IBS.

“It’s a concentrated form of relaxation where the therapist is teaching the patient to control systems of their body they can’t normally control,” Whorwell tells WebMD.

IBS is a common disorder of the digestive system that leads to cramps and pain, gassiness, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Some people with IBS have constipation, others have diarrhea, and some have both.

And many doctors believe there is a psychological component to IBS, in which stress, depression, or other mental states can lead to physical symptoms in the gut. Such symptoms are called “psychosomatic,” and Whorwell says they are not confined to IBS. “Every disease has a psychological component,” he says.

With IBS it’s important for patients to have better control of the contractions of their stomach muscles and […]

Hypnotherapy improves non-cardiac chest pain for IBS

Hypnotherapy improves non-cardiac chest pain for IBS

Yes – Hypnotherapy improves non-cardiac chest pain for IBS. Hypnotherapy may improve non-cardiac chest pain as for IBS Hypnotherapy appears to have use in a highly selected group of non-cardiac chest pain patients, reports September’s issue of Gut. Non-cardiac chest pain is an extremely debilitating condition of uncertain origin which is difficult to treat and consequently has a high psychological morbidity. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome where its beneficial effects are long lasting. Professor Peter Whorwell and colleagues from England assessed the efficacy of hypnotherapy in patients with angina-like chest pain.Coronary angiography was normal and esophageal reflux was not contributory in these patients.

The investigators evaluated 28 patients fulfilling the entry criteria. The patients were randomized to receive either 12 sessions of hypnotherapy or supportive therapy plus placebo medication over a 17 week period.The investigative team’s primary outcome measure was global assessment of chest pain improvement. 80% of hypnotherapy patients had global improvement in pain Gut. Secondary variables were a change in scores for quality of life, pain severity, pain frequency, anxiety, and depression, and any alteration in the use of medication.

The investigators found that 80% of hypnotherapy patients compared with 23% of controls experienced a global improvement in pain.The improvement in pain was associated with a significantly greater reduction in pain intensity although not frequency. The team observed that hypnotherapy also resulted in a greater improvement in overall well being in addition to a reduction in medication usage.There were no differences favouring hypnotherapy with respect to anxiety or depression scores. Professor Whorwell’s team comments, “Hypnotherapy appears to have use in this highly selected […]

By |July 13th, 2008|Anxiety, Hypnotherapy, Latest News, Men's Issues, Pain, The Mind, Womens Issues|Comments Off on Hypnotherapy improves non-cardiac chest pain for IBS

Alternative Therapies

Alternative Therapies

BBC Examines Alternative Therapies

Imagine having your dentist pull your teeth out and drill into your jaw with no anaesthetic – just someone muttering in your ear about being on the beach.   Sounds alarming?  Welcome to the extraordinary world of hypnotherapy.

Half a million people in England use hypnotherapy every year.  It’s claimed it can help with smoking, obesity, tinnitus, weight loss, phobias, allergies, anxiety and even breast enlargement.  What do we know about hypnotherapy and hypnosis?  And how are scientists trying to find out about how it works and its effectiveness?

In the first in a new series, Professor Kathy Sykes, Professor of Science and Society at Bristol University, embarks on a personal and scientific journey to explore three popular alternative therapies: reflexology, meditation and hypnotherapy.

Travelling across the UK, Europe and over the Atlantic to Montreal, Kathy Sykes, in a journey that is at times funny, intimate, moving and revealing, she follows patients who are pinning their hopes on hypnotherapy.  There is Richard, the policeman, who wants to quit smoking; Nicola, who wants to eat less chocolate; and Mandy, who wants teeth implants without anaesthetic. Kathy herself has a go at being hypnotised as she tries to understand more about the science behind the hypnotic “trance.”

She meets hypnotherapists, and also mainstream scientists, who are looking inside our brains to try and unravel what goes on during hypnosis.  She meets Professor Peter Whorwell in Manchester who is pioneering the use of hypnotherapy for people suffering from the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

A mixture of serious science and personal journey – Alternative Therapies is intriguing viewing for anyone interested […]