IBS — It IS All In Your Head !!

As a gastroenterologist I have been treating patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for over thirty years.  As  meta-physician I have been fascinated by the mind/body relationship as well.  IBS exemplifies this issue perfectly.

In the past physician's regarded IBS as a stress-related phenomenon which was mainly a neurotic, psychological disorder.  In other words, "its' all in your head".  This was a rather demeaning attitude by practitioners towards patients with IBS, as if to imply that they were not truly suffering but somehow "making it up" or seeking secondary gain/attention.

As someone who has treated IBS patients I can confirm the truth–they ARE suffering, they do not "make it up."

Fascinating neuroscientific research as reported in the L.A. Times article http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/22/news/la-heb-bowel-20100722 offers MRI brain scan evidence of structural changes in the brain.

This may add credibility to those skeptical physicians who failed to understand the true nature of IBS.

For me this is just further evidence for the mind/body interaction.  There is no distinction between our emotional and physical lives. The guts enteric nervous system  (brain in the gut) contains the same neuronal apparatus and serotonin production as our spinal cord.

 Science has clearly demonstrated how receptor sites on every cell of our body, in every organ of our bodies instantaneously react to neurotransmitters released by various organs of our body in response to our state of mind.

Hopefully, this will take some of the stigma away from patients with IBS who might even question their own feelings and suffering.

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PS.  I will be lecturing on the Integrative Approach to IBS on September 9th at 7pm at the YMCA in Perth Amboy, NJ.

 

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