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FromFromNational Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)Monthly Summaries of Nursing ResearchAugust 2001 "Reviewing the Effect of Stress on the Symptoms and Pathophysiology of Irritable Bowel SyndromeMayer EA, Naliboff BD, Chang L, Coutinho SV. Stress and the gastrointestinal tract v. stress and irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2001;280:G519-G524.Stress, defined as a real (physical) or perceived (psychological) threat to an organism's well being, evokes adaptive responses to preserve stability and survival. However, chronic stress may become pathologic, and numerous reports have linked stress to the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Early life stress, in the form of abuse, neglect, or loss, increases the risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders later in life. Acute stressful events and genetic predisposition appear to enhance the central stress circuits, leading to permanent physiologic changes. Different types of stressors may contribute to IBS by increasing the autonomic and neuroendocrine response and exacerbating and perpetuating gastrointestinal symptoms. Functional brain imaging of IBS patients has identified changes in certain brain pathways that affect pain perception and modulation. Animal models have been developed that mimic at least some of the symptoms of IBS, helping to bring new insights. A strong association of IBS patients with anxiety and other functional disorders suggests that certain stressors in predisposed individuals may trigger long-term alterations in the stress response and play a role in the pathophysiology of IBS."------------------Moderator of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Anxiety and Hypnotherapy forumI work with Mike and the IBS Audio Program. www.ibshealth.com www.ibsaudioprogram.com
 

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