Shape Magazine, June 2000IBS Linked to Emotional AbuseIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a digestive disorder that causes constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas and bloating affects as many as 20 percent of Americans (twice as many women as men) has been linked to past physical and sexual abuse. But a recent study at the University of Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found a link to emotional abuse in adulthood, such as threats, humilation or restrictions on a woman's personal freedom. Compared to women with inflammatory bowel disease, which has similar symptoms but can be traced to organic causes, women with IBS showed significantly higher levels of emotional abuse, self-blame and self-silencing. "We're not trying to say there's a direct causal link," says lead study author Alisha Ali, Ph.D. "But it may be one of many factors involved."
Interesting article. I had a great childhood but a rotten first husband who verbally abused me. I got rid of him and remarried the most wonderful man in the world but my IBS still lingers. I thought it would go away with the first husband.NoSpice
I think that article is a pile of junk and it just puts further pressure on women with IBS to not discuss this with family, friends, supervisors/co-workers and gain some understanding. Now women who come forward will be tagged as people that were molested or abused. GOod grief. Those people should have researched this topic a great deal more before they spread more misinformation about this. I have several women in my family with this and none of us have suffered childhood or adult abuse. This is a physical/medical illness and not a mental illness - though it can make you mentally ill with the frustration.
I don't know what to think about the article! I know that I had a wonderful childhood, a miserable 1st hubby (who became a miserable ex, I might add), then my youngest developed Tourette Syndrome and became VERY violent (tried to kill me on several occasions) at age 12. I also have a bunch of female relatives (on my mother's side) who have had bowel problems.Sounds like hereditary with a sprinkling of major stress!
That's all a bunch of B.S.! I think that there are different causes to IBS and for the person who suffers with bowel problems a few times a month that it can be caused by stress. But for those of us who suffer Every day and in my case for seven years since I was 16 and should add that I'm a male and had an excellent childhood, that this is not the case. Everyone has skeletons in their closet and the fact that some people who have IBS were abused mentally or physically is just a coincidence. It's stuff like this that pisses me off and keeps us from being taken seriously.
What will they think of next. IBS is such a controversial disorder because it is soooo complex and affects so many people. I think that is why it gets so much attention and people are always looking for "a reason" a cause for IBS. Well there obviously isn't "a reason" or "a cause" for it. There are many! I think that everyone has taken the suffering of IBS too lightly and it is because of comments like this one that it is probably why. People who suffer IBS are always looked at like ohhh IBS yeah huh ok all in your head! Must have been abused or have some other form of weakness -- bull. It is probably caused by something in the environment that we have all been exposed to and or a virus. Just because they don't know exactly what it is or what directly causes it -- gives no one the right to assume that it is not a serious condition and all kinds of people suffer tremendously with it!
My tendency is to think that the study results mentioned are coincidences. People were looking for a certain correlation, so they managed to find one. Excess "stress" can trigger a lot of physical problems -- not just IBS -- in my belief. However, I hate how people continue to single out IBS as being so strongly emotionally related. A friend of mine finally asked me the other day if "everyone with IBS has anxiety problems and, if so, why?" She said she's always heard that there's a strong anxiety link. I tried to educate her. (I do think there can, for many people, be an anxiety link but not necessarily for everyone.)
I think this 'study' is junk. They probably found a certain number of people with IBS who had been abused and decided that constituted a 'link'. There are probably also a certain number of people with IBS who frequently wear green on Sunday. If I find some of these people, does that mean I discovered a cause and effect 'link' to IBS? Yeah, right!HipJan -- The anxiety/IBS link is probably a 'chicken and egg' issue. I believe there are lots of people for whom the IBS came first. Constantly (or at least frequently) wondering and worrying if you will make it to the bathroom in time, if you will or won't be able to participate in activities, if/how your job will be effected, etc. could easily be the trigger for anxiety problems. After a person had both problems, it might be difficult to tell which came first.
I've had a "goofy" gut since I was a kid. NO abuse whatsoever. I HATE when IBS gets lumped into the "all in your head/you can't handle stress" category. Yeah, stress can exacerbate it, just like it can exacerbate any other chronic condition. As far as the anxiety goes, I know for me, the anxiety developed FROM the IBS ("where's the bathroom? Can I use that bathroom? What if I NEED a bathroom?").And for me, the "proof" that it's not all in my head is the benefit I've seen with Lotronex. I've changed NOTHING else in my life, and I'm remarkably better. And I don't think placebo effect would be lasting this long and be this consistent.Now, please excuse me...thanks to Lotronex, I'm going to go have lunch with my boyfriend...Colleen
Can't say I had a bad life, in fact I have had a great one. My IBS is a result of losing my Gallbladder - never had IBS until 1 year ago after surgery. So I won't disagree that some people are a result of abuse, but not everyone. I think the medical community is grasping at straws.
This is not new information, I've read about this supposed link in books over a year ago. I don't buy it but like anything with this crazy disorder there could be a piece of population this is true for but you can't prove it by me.Stay Strong, Let me assure you I suffered daily for over a year primarily because of the extraordinary stress I was under, I'd have been delighted with a problem a few times a month. We're not talking usual daily stress but BIG stuff.I do wish they wouldn't publish articles like these unless they can quanitfy what % of the population it affects because it's damaging to the credibility of the rest of us.
I was both verbally and physcially abused by my ex-husband, but I had IBS long before the abuse and I still have it years after the abuse ended, so I guess that throws that theory out the window (in my case anyway)
------------------"Remember To Stop and Smell the Roses"Rose (C-type)
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