Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help and Support Group
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IBS Advice

These advice essays have been written by Forum Moderators and members of the Medical Advisory Board of the IBS Self Help and Support Group. Visitors may rate each essay. Additionally, Members may add their own personal comments to any essay.

These essays were made possible in part by an unrestricted educational grant from:

Prometheus Laboratories Inc..

The views expressed in these essays and comments are those of the author and members and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the IBS Self Help and Support Group or Prometheus Laboratories Inc. In no way are these documents meant to be a substitute for professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner, nor should it be implied as such. Always check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your condition, or before starting a new program of treatment.

Relaxation Exercises and IBS

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Relaxation Exercises and IBS
Written by: BBolen Ph.D

 
Although well-meaning friends and relatives may tell you “Just relax, you will be fine”, this is often easier said then done. Like any skill, learning how to calm your body takes practice. If you have IBS, learning and practicing relaxation exercises will be time well spent due to the complicated interaction between stress and our digestive systems. As you learn these skills, you will find that they may become some of the most important tools in your IBS toolkit.

Healthy Thinking for IBS

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Healthy Thinking for IBS
Written by: BBolen Ph.D

 
Thoughts can be powerful things. They have the power to affect how we feel, both emotionally and physically. If you suffer from IBS, it may be worth your while to become aware of whether or not certain thoughts have the potential to trigger or exacerbate your symptoms. Once you begin to identify those thoughts, you can then replace problematic thoughts with thoughts that have a more beneficial effect on your digestive system. Why are some thoughts problematic? Our brains are responsible for taking in and making sense of enormous amounts of information. In the process of synthesizing all of this information, our brains are prone to making certain cognitive errors, which cognitive therapists label as distortions or irrational thoughts.

Dating and IBS

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Dating and IBS
Written by: Nikki
 

The dating game can be a nightmare for most people, healthy or not, so imagine how difficult it must be to attempt to make yourself available to the dog-eat-dog world of dating while suffering from a medical condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
 

My Long Journey of IBS Treatments with Different Physicians

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My Long Journey of IBS Treatments with Different Physicians
Written by: cookies4marilyn

 
 
If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you have most likely gone through the gauntlet of physicians, gastroenterologists, or perhaps internists in search of elusive treatment. So did I. My journey was a marathon over the course of nearly twenty years. It wasn’t that my many medical professionals were not doing their job; each and every one would listen to my list of symptoms and, with a knowing concern, proceed down their tried-and-trusty list of IBS medications.
 

IBS and the Mind/Body Connection

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IBS and the Mind/Body Connection
Written by: BBolen Ph.D

 
 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients were done a disservice when, contrary to long-held Eastern traditions, Western medicine started treating the mind and body as two separate entities. Because IBS does not show up on diagnostic testing, patients were led to believe that the problem was purely psychological, thus compounding their stress level and leading to further despair. Only recently did IBS researchers begin to focus on the many interconnections between brain and body in their efforts to understand what causes IBS. As a result, it can now be said definitively that your IBS is not all in your head.
 
Biology Lesson
 

How Clinical Hypnotherapy Helped My IBS

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How Clinical Hypnotherapy Helped My IBS
Written by: cookies4marilyn

 
 
After years of my suffering from chronic, severe refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), rife with pain, urgency, and embarrassment, my gastroenterologist told me he had nothing more to offer. He suggested I search the Internet for any treatments out there that we had not tried.
 

Treating IBS: Deciphering Good Information from Bad

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Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)
Treating IBS: Deciphering Good Information from Bad
Written by: cookies4marilyn

 
 
If you do a Google search for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you’ll come up with an overload of relevant listings. But how can you decipher the good information from the bad, even if the listing is on the first page—or listed at all?
 

How to Retain Your Identity When You’re Disabled

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How to Retain Your Identity When You’re Disabled
Written by: M&M
 
 

The Ins and Outs of Traveling with IBS

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The Ins and Outs of Traveling with IBS
Written by: IBD/IBS Author

 
 
If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), then you know how daunting the thought of traveling by car, airplane, or train can be. I’ve traveled regularly most of my life, starting with my first airplane trip in a six-seater, one-propeller airplane flown by my father. When I lived for four months in Italy during college I never thought twice about jumping on a train for a one- or even twelve-hour journey. Nor did I think much of making a cross-country road trip. That is, until chronic diarrhea entered my life in 1997 on a trip to the Caribbean. After many months of illness and even more months worth of doctor visits and tests, I was diagnosed not only with IBS but also with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
 

Communicating Effectively with Doctors

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Communicating Effectively with Doctors
Written by: Cherrie
 
 
The first time I went to a doctor to talk about my "belly issue" a couple years ago, I was so embarrassed and unprepared that I didn't know what to say, except that it and my daily diarrhea hurt. My doctor tried his best to take the lead in our conversations and fill in the awkward pauses caused by my embarrassment by filling in all the silent moments, but it was more like a question-answer routine in a classroom than a conversation with the doctor. At the end of my first appointment, my doctor said that he was pretty sure it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)—but I felt like he was looking only for what he wanted to look for, because I didn't get a chance to tell him the whole story.
 
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