According to MedUni Vienna, hypnosis therapy is still one of the most effective Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment methods and can also alleviate symptoms.
Individuals who suffer from stress-related Irritable Bowel Syndrome have a distinctive microbial signature in their gut. Now, studies conducted by a research group at MedUni Vienna’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Austria, has found that holistic, hypnosis therapy is significantly more effective at implementing Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment than symptomatic or probiotic treatment alone.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is manifested by a range of digestive problems such as pain, bloating, inflammation, constipation or diarrhoea. It is estimated that 10 – 20% of the Western population is affected by it.
Often a diet or probiotics are prescribed for Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment, but gut-directed hypnotherapy also alleviates symptoms. There are a lot of research projects looking at the gastrointestinal flora, to try to track down the causes of IBS.
Psychologically distressed IBS sufferers display a distinguishing microbial signature
Internist and psychotherapist Gabriele Moser explained: “A comparison of completed stress questionnaires with associated stool samples showed a correlation between the incidence of specific gut bacteria and psychological distress such as stress, depression and/or anxiety.
“This validates the importance of the so-called gut-brain axis, the relationship between the gut microbiome and the mind.”
For this reason, many research and treatment approaches focus on restoring an ideal balance in the patient’s gut flora by means of probiotic diets (e.g. using food supplements). However, as Moser’s study group discovered in a further study, a holistic, psychosomatic approach (hypnosis therapy) works even better.
Patients who had undergone hypnotherapy exhibited significant alleviation of their symptoms, while the composition of their gut bacteria had not changed as a result of treatment.
Moser adds: “More in-depth studies must be conducted to find out whether something has changed on another level, e.g. bacterial metabolism, because the original composition of the gut flora remains the same.”
Hypnosis therapy is more successful than exclusive drug or probiotic treatment
Up to 70% of patients treated respond positively to psychosomatic, holistic treatment of IBS using hypnosis therapy. This percentage is much lower for purely symptomatic or probiotic nutritional therapies.
According to Moser, the holistic Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment will still offer the best results in the immediate future: “The influence of the gut microbiome on the mind and nervous system is an exciting field of research. However, purely biological approaches are insufficient for the treatment of IBS, which also requires psychosocial approaches, which are currently much more successful for patients.
“People with severe IBS are often suffering from trauma or are under enormous stress and require integrated psychosomatic treatment.”