Alternative thinking

Does anyone else consider alternative ways of managing IBS? A while ago a doctor said to me that the mind and digestive system are inextricably linked although we are not sure how and why. I already knew this but hearing it said helped me cope. It also helped me to not look for a cure (or further investigations) but instead manage my lifestyle. Over time I have learned what food helps or triggers symptoms, I continue to develop mindfulness and ways to deal with the pointless anxiety which I suffer from. Physical exercise helps and practicing Tai Chi is so influential to my well being. Yes I do take prescribed meds (Mebeverine and Amitriptyline) and over the counter meds (Immodium and Silocogel) when required but appreciate they are not a panacea for ibs-d. I have a friend who uses acupunture and meditation which gives him more relief from Crohns than any meds the GP throws at him. I guess I'm saying there's more to managing ibs than tablets and diet.

12 Replies

  • I take buscapan and amythripilyte and they help a bit but not enough. I am also trying to watch my diet but it all went ascrew when I got pneumonia, I am also going the natural way with natural supplements,

  • Well said. There is definitely a link in the mind and gut. Understanding that it's life changing and listening to your body is important. It's like having children, your whole life changes, but you can still have control. Well done you.

  • Agreed,needs to be said from time to time

  • Yes, I totally agree. Anything that goes into my digestive system goes through my head first. If my food/drink is washed down with stress, anxiety, worry then I feel it in my guts for days or weeks. If I'm grateful, calm and happy then I feel that too. We are complicated us humans.

    Best wishes.

  • I agree I think in my case it has been caused by deep rooted stress and anxiety issues going back a long way (and not helped by female hormones at certain times of the month) I don't really seem to have issues with any particular food stuffs.

    It's hard to undo all that. Mindfulness has helped some and it is a good idea to keep a long running diary as you do see some patterns in it.

    Imodium does give me some confidence and I think you can build on that

  • Yep totally agree. I am having therapy at the moment as my GP is convinced that my tummy aches are actually caused by anxiety. It is known that when anxiety or stress takes hold, the body goes into Fight/Flight mode. Blood etc is redirected to areas the body thinks it needs and unfortunately the stomach is the first to suffer. Mindfulness is a great tool and is helping me currently

  • Mindfulness of breathing - and Meta Bhavna - as taught at my local Buddhist centre - is entirely free yet one of my most valued tools. When I'm laid in bed, doubled up in pain, contemplating whether to call 999 or not, I can focus on breathing in for a count of four, breathing out for a count of eight, dwelling on the breath as it passes the entrance to my nostrils, and the panic (and some of the pain) is diminished. It's great seeing it taught to very young kids. What a great life skill to have at that age!

  • I agree with everything you said. I have had no choice but to just manage my IBS for 30+ years, because doctors were not able to help any further after all the tests were done. So, if doctors can't help any further (except to suggest anti-depressants which are not a help for me), then we have no choice but to cope as best we can, all finding ways that help us individually, be it diet, exercises, supplements, or whatever helps. For me, it is just plain acceptance that this is how my body is, and I will never feel "normal" in my gut. I try to ride it out and not think of the pain as "pain", but just accept what is a normal state for me. All the best wishes for everyone here, to find their alternative ways to cope!

  • Yes, the mind and the digestive system are linked. This is why Professor Whorwell, a Gastro-enterologist in Manchester prescribes hypnotherapy as a treatment after any organic causes have been eliminated.

    Diaphragmatic breathing is an effective way to alter your gut functioning, but it's just one tool to change how your IBS is affecting you. It's good that you are dealing with your lifestyle in a holistic way.

    It takes a while to perfect, but as with most things, practise is important:


  • allinthemind.... that is a VERY good site! Thank you for sharing it.

  • I totally agree with you and very well said. I have been suffering from stress for some time now and I am pretty sure that's why my IBS has got worse.

  • hi

    yes mind n gut most def connected.just to add iv been on mebeverine three times a day for more than ten years.iv stopped gradually over last three weeks and have been the best fir years! Suddenly came to Me that they slow the colon so much that maybe that's why foods ferment and give me bad spasms.worth a try



You may also like...