Therapy May Improve Daily Functioning with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Improve irritable Bowel Syndrome

Adding therapy to other lifestyle changes can help improve symptoms in those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic condition that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating and a change in bowel habits. Most people diagnosed with IBS can control their symptoms with a combination of diet, medication, and stress management.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or CBT, is one way to reduce distress. And a new study links CBT with improving the ability of IBS patients to participate in daily activities, thus improving quality of life.

Researchers with Vanderbilt University analyzed 31 studies involving over 1700 individuals who were assigned to a program to assist with psychological management, whether it be therapy, a support group, or an education program. Those involved with CBT showed greater gains in daily functioning.

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Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a type of therapy that incorporates “exposure” – a technique that involves the individual in confronting difficult situations, such as taking a long road trip or eating out in an unfamiliar restaurant. Treatments are designed to help patients develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving so that distress is reduced and thus physical symptoms become more easily managed without interfering with daily life.

For more on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you may enjoy the following Emaxhealth articles:

Journal Reference:
Kelsey T. Laird, et al. Comparative efficacy of psychological therapies for improving mental health and daily functioning in irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 2017; 51: 142 DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2016.11.001

Photo Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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