It’s not all in your head: IBS myths debunked

Irritable bowel syndrome, being a hard-todiagnose condition has had plenty of misconceptions around it. Though it is clinically-recognised, the connection between the gut and the brain is rarely acknowledged by the general public.

Team Zemedy has gathered the leading experts in digestive health to discuss the most common misconcptions about IBS, gut health and bowel issues and answer the burning questions around the subject.

Does stress cause IBS?

Having IBS is stressful, and people start to have strings of catastrophic thoughts about the symptoms themselves. They often wonder if the doctors have missed something or if something else is wrong. Perhaps, even life-threatening. People worry a lot about the social and occupational consequences of having GI symptoms: they get very afraid of faecal incontinence and they start avoiding various situations.

What cognitive behavioural therapy can do through a combination of relaxation training, decatastrophizing, and exposure therapy (which is going out and facing the situations that make you anxious), is quieten these signals. The inappropriate brain-gut loop that has started amplifying and magnifying all those signals can be turned down, so that the individual is much more comfortable, less symptomatic and able to live their life again.

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