There is a lot of research to indicate the strong connection of the gut and brain and why it’s important to keep them both healthy.

What are mental health triggers for IBS and how do you keep the gut/brain healthy?

  1. Stressful life events trigger and can exacerbate symptoms in many patients. Traumatic life events, such as sexual or physical abuse are associated with an increased prevalence of IBS and other FGID’s.
  2. Co-morbid psychiatric disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder and major depression are associated with poorer outcomes with FGID. Highly prevalent (50%-94%) of clinical samples of IBS patients.
  3. The brain exerts a powerful influence over gastrointestinal pain perception, motility, and secretion. In IBS patients, stress lowers visceral pain thresholds and stimulates bowel motility.

Psychological treatments work. A large number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show that short courses of certain psychological interventions can markedly improve the symptoms of several FGIDs, while simultaneously enhancing emotional well-being and quality of life along with healthcare needs. America College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association technical review on IBS recommends psychological treatment for:

  • Moderate and severe patients;
  • Those with inadequate response to medical care;
  • Patients in whom psychosocial factors clearly exacerbate the symptoms.

Six Modes of Treatment have been assessed using multiple RCT’s:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Hypnosis
  • Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy
  • Psychosomatic Therapy
  • Relaxation Training
  • Biofeedback

At VCPS, we have a dedicated intake team to answer any questions you have about therapy. You canchat with our team in real-time online or give them a call on (03) 9419 7172. We would love to help you with your journey into therapy.

Books we recommend:

  • The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer
  • How to be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life by Frank Lipman

Practitioners we recommend:

View the related Inside VCPS podcast here:

Episode 6 - Gut Brain Health

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