It has been seen that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders tend to make people more anxious and depressed. This has been attributed to the fact that the colon is partially controlled by the nervous system which reacts to stress. The immune system also contributes to the problem as it also responds to stress.
Recent research published in the "Gastroenterology" indicates that a problem in the intestines may actually cause changes in brain chemistry. In a study of mice, it was found that changing the bacterial composition of the colon caused the mice to become more active. This was a result of increased levels of a brain protein that affects memory and moods.
One in five adults in the US has IBS with women being more susceptible. Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating.
Patients who already have IBS find that symptoms get worse with stress. Every flare up leads to more anxiety and stress creating a vicious cycle.
It is therefore important to learn to reduce stress as this causes less cramping and pain and also makes it easier to manage symptoms.
Some alternative therapies that help reduce stress and relieve IBS symptoms are