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How Effective is Hypnosis for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Anna T.
Updated May 17, 2024
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Studies have shown that hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome, which is also commonly referred to as IBS, might be effective for some people. The best candidates for this type of treatment are people who respond well to hypnosis in general. Not everyone is easy to hypnotize, and as a result this treatment for irritable bowel syndrome may not be effective for those people. For people who do respond well to hypnotism, it's possible that hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome may work by placing suggestions in their minds to help them relax and alter how they react to pain. Some experts believe that many of the symptoms of IBS are related to stress and anxiety, and this might be why hypnosis occasionally seems to help.

When a person is hypnotized, he normally goes into a trance-like state. Being in a trance is not the same thing as being unconscious, and people who are hypnotized are usually still aware of what is going on around them. The trance-like state that people go into during hypnotism may help them to be more open to certain suggestions. In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, these suggestions might relate to pain management and stress reduction, which are two things that tend to make irritable bowel syndrome symptoms worse for many people.

People who have undergone hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome often report reduced frequency in symptoms, which also leads to less frequent doctor visits and less need for medication. For many people who have had success with hypnosis for irritable syndrome, the improvement in symptoms and decreased reliance on medication generally means an improved quality of life overall. Many irritable bowel syndrome sufferers have so much trouble managing their symptoms that over time they tend to become reclusive and do not want to leave their homes out of fear of experiencing pain and other problems related to the disorder. Even though hypnosis is not guaranteed to work for everyone, it may be a viable option to consider.

In the event that hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome doesn't work, a person should consult with his doctor about other types of remedies to try. Even though there are prescription medicines used to treat and manage the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, there are some lifestyle changes that could additionally help. Sometimes eliminating certain foods from the diet can greatly reduce the symptoms, although there will likely be an extensive trial and error process required before problematic foods can be pinpointed. Probiotics, which are organisms naturally occurring in foods such as yogurt, might also help with irritable bowel syndrome because they kill off bad digestive bacteria while adding to the good digestive bacteria in the stomach.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGEEK. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.

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Anna T.

Anna T.

Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGEEK. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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