27/05/2014 12:48 BST | Updated 24/07/2014 06:59 BST

Help With IBS

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Do you need help with IBS? You're not alone, around one in five people will experience IBS at some point in their lives. Hypnotherapy for IBS is approved by NICE as an effective treatment, so it's something that I see a lot of.

IBS is in many ways a medical mystery and doctors aren't sure what to make of it. Your gut kind of like another world; home to roughly 100 trillion bacteria, more in number than there are cells in your body in fact, and your small intestine has a surface area bigger than a tennis court.

Everyone that I've ever given help for IBS to has stated that their emotions affect their symptoms. And it's no wonder; there are a greater number of neurones in your gut than your brain and spinal chord. Many people call the gut the 'second brain'; it makes sense that stress and our emotions affect our digestion. With that huge surface area and all those nerves and that bacteria, it's no wonder things can go awry in there!

The symptoms of IBS can range from mild to life changing but generally consist of one or a combination of bloating, pain, constipation and diarrhoea. Always speak to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis of IBS to rule out anything potentially more serious. IBS is often diagnosed by ruling out other issues.

The causes of IBS can't be pinned down to one thing but could be a combination of stress or emotional issues, diet, intestinal flora imbalance and lifestyle.

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I once worked with a client who felt she was 'holding on' to her emotions in her stomach; every time she felt stressed she would feel her stomach clench and the pain and bloating would begin. By working on her stress levels and helping her to release the tension she was holding there, she is now IBS free.

Here are my top tips for help with IBS;

- Stress can be a major cause and or can aggravate IBS. Mange your stress with hypnotherapy for IBS, or try yoga, meditation or CBT.

- Peppermint oil capsules can help to relax muscles spasms in the gut

- Look in to the FODMAP diet. This means excluding foods that contain the complicatedly named Fructo-oligo-di-mono-saccharides; which are basically gas producing carbohydrates. You can find a list here or speak to a nutritional therapist.

- Probiotics may help reduce gas in some people; however you may have to experiment with different brands before finding one that works for you.

Help with IBS is available so please get in touch if you have any questions or if I can help at all; see my website hypnotherapy for IBS for more information, tips and testimonials from my clients.

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