Ways to calm your nervous tummy
31st October 2017
Almost three-quarters of people with irritable bowel syndrome say that stress is a trigger, according to a recent survey from University College Cork.
“The gut has its own nervous system and contains more nerve cells than the brain,” explains Dr Simon Smale, gastroenterologist and medical adviser to The IBS Network. “There are pathways both to and from the brain via the spinal cord and vagus nerve that are influenced by emotions, so changes in our state of mind can have an enormous impact on how the gut functions.’
So what can be done to help? “Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy and psychological intervention may all have positive effects by influencing these pathways,” says Dr Smale. “People can find themselves trapped by a cycle of bowel disturbance exacerbated by anxiety about it. Breaking this cycle may improve both the distress and bowel function.”
For more information on the benefits of each therapy and how to manage stress, visit theibsnetwork.org