Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers also frequently suffer from stress, anxiety & depression
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also frequently suffer from stress, anxiety and depression, because the colon is in part controlled by the nervous system, which responds to stress. This disorder is defined by recurrent episodes of abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Approximately one in five adults in the United States suffer from IBS. Women are more likely to exhibit symptoms, which usually start in late adolescence or early adulthood.
Specific cause of IBS is unknown, but some experts suspect disturbances in the nerves and/or muscles in the gut, others suggest that people who have a sensitive colon (spastic colon) which reacts to certain foods and stress are more likely to suffer from symptoms of IBS. Although painful and uncomfortable, IBS do not cause other gastrointestinal diseases or permanent damage to the intestines.
While there is no known cure for IBS, there are effective therapies that can help manage the symptoms and discomfort. There is no test for IBS but a knowledgeable clinician can usually make a diagnosis just by looking for specific symptoms, and may order routine blood and stool tests and check for lactose intolerance, thyroid disorder, endometriosis, and other bowel diseases.
According to the estimates provided by The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse up to 70 percent of people with IBS are not receiving treatment. The 50 to 90 percent of those who do seek treatment, also suffer from anxiety disorder or depression, symptoms that often interfere with work and other activities.
There are many theories regarding causes of IBS symptoms. A new emerging theory focuses on the neurotransmitter serotonin. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit messages between nerve cells. We all know about the relationship between depression and serotonin in the brain, but the gut also produces serotonin, which in turn acts on nerves in the digestive tract. Some research suggests that person suffering mainly from diarrhea may have increased serotonin levels in the gut, while those who primarily suffer from constipation have decreased amounts of serotonin levels.
Emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression play a significant role in IBS symptoms which makes “Neurotransmitter Therapy”important consideration in pain and symptoms relieve. Stress management, diet, and exercise have also proven useful.