IBS known to most as Irritable Bowel Syndrome might just as well be called CBS Crying Bowel Syndrome. Having treated thousands of patients over the past thirty years with IBS I have heard the cries, some overt, others silent that underlie this condition.
From an evolutionary perspective, we inherited the tendency to empty our bowels when faced with immediate, imminent danger. In order to escape our prey, our ancestors evolved to relieve our bodies of the need to digest food. The goal was to provide all needed blood supply to our muscles in order to escape predation.
The cry was that of fear. That fear remains with us. Our lives are filled with it. What's worse it often occurs on a subconscious level. We may not be aware of how frightened and hurt we are. Our conscious minds may even deny it–to others and to ourselves.
Many times I have questioned a patient with IBS regarding stress. Frequently they will admit the source of stress. Often they will deny any "extra" stress or insist that they can "deal" with it.
My favorite response, "maybe you believe you are dealing with it, but your bowels are telling us both something different".
In effect our bowels are speaking our truth. The fear and sadness with effects many will manifest in one organ which has a "mind of its own" our guts.
It is not an exaggeration to speak of the "brain in the gut". There are more neurons in our digestive system than the entire spinal cord and with it an equally enormous amount of serotonin.
When we experience emotional and psychological stress, it is often our bowels that cry out for help. The first step toward healing is to recognize that a problem exists. You can't miss it–it won't let you!