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June 16, 2009 at 3:36 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Stress Therapy Can Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

IBS is a condition that affects the large intestine (your colon). Although the damage isn't permanent, the discomfort can create significant discomfort and grief. No one knows what causes one person to have IBS over another. Doctors have not been able to trace the condition to a single organic cause. People with IBS appear to have a colon that is simply more reactive and sensitive to certain foods and stress. Normal rhythmic contractions of the colon are controlled by a vast supply of nerves between the Colon and the brain. These nerves cause abdominal discomfort during stressful times.

Bad Stress

The human body is composed of two nervous systems: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic system causes the blood pressure to rise and is commonly known to trigger the fight or flight response. The sympathetic system also causes stress hormones to flood into the body and the breath rate to increase rapidly. This response was perfect when preparing to fight dangerous animals long ago. Unfortunately, this same response can be triggered while at work or sitting in traffic. The result is often migraines, heart disease and ulcers when this system is over stimulated.

Good Stress

The parasympathetic system, on the other hand, slows breathing and lowers blood pressure. See, when the blood isn't forced to rush throughout the muscles, it is free to flow in a more productive fashion. This means that the body can heal any physical strain accumulated throughout the day. The good news is that the parasympathetic system can be consciously stimulated by breathing deeply on a regular basis.

Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS can dramatically reduce the quality of your life leads to what is referred to as vital exhaustion. People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome experience:

  • Loss of vitality
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Dispirited
  • Low energy

Studies show that one in five Americans suffer from IBS. Men in their 20s have the highest rate of cases. People with IBS experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Constipation

Less Stress Better Health

"Butterflies" are often experienced when people become nervous or upset. We have all had this happen from time to time. People with IBS, however, can be overly responsive to even slight conflict or stress. When this happens painful spasms occur. Colon spasms in people with IBS are provoked by:

  • Tension (mental and emotional)
  • Excessive worrying
  • Prolonged Anger
  • Feeling Overwhelmed

Managing stress is a very important element of IBS treatment

The following are simple ways to manage your stress:

  • Regular exercise such as walking or yoga
  • Meditation
  • Changes to the stressful situations in your life
  • Adequate sleep
  • Counseling and support

Researchers are still exploring what causes IBS. It is clear, however, that people with sensitive colons can definitely benefit when if they implement stress therapy to help Irritable Bowel Syndrome.


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