Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. Tim Brunson, PhD

The Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Functional Dyspepsia.



BACKGROUND: Functional dyspepsia (FD) is one of the most frequent functional gastrointestinal disorders and is defined using the Rome IV criteria as any combination of the following symptoms: postprandial fullness, early satiety, epigastric pain, and epigastric burning that are severe enough to interfere with the usual activities and occur at least 3 days per week over the past 3 months with an onset of at least 6 months before the presentation. The purpose of this systematic review is to analyze all the relevant studies in the literature that investigate the efficiency of hypnotherapy in FD. AREAS OF UNCERTAINTY: FD refractory to conservative treatment is a therapeutic challenge, and alternative treatment options are needed. Gut-oriented hypnotherapy has been reported an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, but poorly tested in FD. DATA SOURCES: We performed a search in 6 bibliographic databases (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, and LILACS) using customized search strategies for each engine. The search strategy included the following terms: (hypnosis, hypnotherapy, hypnotherapies, hypnogenesis, hypnotism, hypnotist, hypnotical suggestion, suggestion, and mesmerism) and {[functional and (dyspepsia or dyspeptic)] or FD}. RESULTS: Taking the aforementioned criteria into account, the result was a review of 4 articles analyzing the efficacy of hypnotherapy in the treatment of FD, published in the past 20 years. The initial search identified 398 articles, of which 37 potentially appropriate articles were reviewed. Of these 37 articles, 4 articles were included in the review. The benefits observed by numerous studies go beyond the field of digestive pathology, patients describing a general improvement in physical and mental health. CONCLUSIONS: Current studies analyzing the efficacy of hypnotherapy in FD provide encouraging data, but additional randomized controlled trials are needed before a firm position on the effectiveness of hypnosis in FD.

Am J Ther. 2019 Nov/Dec;26(6):e704-e713. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000001033.

Psychotherapeutic Interventions in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a frequent functional gastrointestinal disorder. The patients complain about various symptoms like change in bowel habits, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, and meteorism leading to a great reduction in quality of life. The pathophysiology is complex and best explained using the biopsychosocial model encompassing biological, psychological as well as (psycho)social factors. In line with the multitude of underlying factors, the treatment is comprised of a multitude of components. Often, patients start with lifestyle changes and dietary advice followed by medical treatment. However, also psychotherapy is an important treatment option for patients with IBS and should not be restricted to those with psychiatric comorbidities. Several evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment options exist such as psychoeducation, self-help, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and relaxation therapy which will be discussed in the present review.

Front Psychiatry. 2020 Apr 30;11:286. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00286. eCollection 2020.

Effect of Lifestyle Factors on Outcomes in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.



Various lifestyle factors including physical activity and obesity, stress, sleep, and smoking may modify the risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). In patients with established IBD, these lifestyle factors may significantly impact the natural history and clinical outcomes. Recreational exercise decreases the risk of flare and fatigue in patients with IBD. In contrast, obesity increases the risk of relapse and is associated with higher anxiety, depression, fatigue, and pain and higher health care utilization. Obesity also modifies pharmacokinetics of biologic agents unfavorably and is associated with a higher risk of treatment failure. Sleep disturbance is highly prevalent in patients with IBD, independent of disease activity, and increases the risk of relapse and chronic fatigue. Similarly, stress, particularly perceived stress rather than major life events, may trigger symptomatic flare in patients with IBD, although its impact on inflammation is unclear. Cigarette smoking is associated with unfavorable outcomes including the risk of corticosteroid dependence, surgery, and disease progression in patients with Crohn's disease; in contrast, smoking does not significantly impact outcomes in patients with ulcerative colitis, although some studies suggest that it may be associated with a lower risk of flare. The effect of alcohol and cannabis use in patients with IBD is inconsistent, with some studies suggesting that cannabis may decrease chronic pain in patients with IBD, without a significant effect of biological remission. Although these lifestyle factors are potentially modifiable, only a few interventional studies have been conducted. Trials of structured exercise and psychological therapy including mindfulness-based therapies such as meditation and yoga and gut-directed hypnotherapy have not consistently demonstrated benefit in clinical and/or endoscopic disease activity in IBD, although may improve overall quality of life.

Am J Gastroenterol. 2020 Jun;115(6):832-840. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000608.

Efficacy of psychological therapies for irritable bowel syndrome...



Full title: Efficacy of psychological therapies for irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and network meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVES: National guidelines for the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) recommend that psychological therapies should be considered, but their relative efficacy is unknown, because there have been few head-to-head trials. We performed a systematic review and network meta-analysis to try to resolve this uncertainty. DESIGN: We searched the medical literature through January 2020 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing efficacy of psychological therapies for adults with IBS, compared with each other, or a control intervention. Trials reported a dichotomous assessment of symptom status after completion of therapy. We pooled data using a random effects model. Efficacy was reported as a pooled relative risk (RR) of remaining symptomatic, with a 95% CI to summarise efficacy of each comparison tested, and ranked by therapy according to P score. RESULTS: We identified 41 eligible RCTs, containing 4072 participants. After completion of therapy, the psychological interventions with the largest numbers of trials, and patients recruited, demonstrating efficacy included self-administered or minimal contact cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) (RR 0.61; 95%?CI 0.45 to 0.83, P score 0.66), face-to-face CBT (RR 0.62; 95%?CI 0.48 to 0.80, P score 0.65) and gut-directed hypnotherapy (RR 0.67; 95%?CI 0.49 to 0.91, P score 0.57). After completion of therapy, among trials recruiting only patients with refractory symptoms, group CBT and gut-directed hypnotherapy were more efficacious than either education and/or support or routine care, and CBT via the telephone, contingency management, CBT via the internet and dynamic psychotherapy were all superior to routine care. Risk of bias of trials was high, with evidence of funnel plot asymmetry; the efficacy of psychological therapies is therefore likely to have been overestimated. CONCLUSIONS: Several psychological therapies are efficacious for IBS, although none were superior to another. CBT-based interventions and gut-directed hypnotherapy had the largest evidence base and were the most efficacious long term. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: The study protocol was published on the PROSPERO international prospective register of systematic reviews (registration number CRD 42020163246).

Gut. 2020 Aug;69(8):1441-1451. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321191. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Behavioral and Diet Therapies in Integrated Care for Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome.



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, symptom-based condition that has negative effects on quality of life and costs health care systems billions of dollars each year. Until recently, management of IBS has focused on over-the-counter and prescription medications that reduce symptoms in fewer than one-half of patients. Patients have increasingly sought natural solutions for their IBS symptoms. However, behavioral techniques and dietary modifications can be effective in treatment of IBS. Behavioral interventions include gastrointestinal-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and gut-directed hypnotherapy to modify interactions between the gut and the brain. In this pathway, benign sensations from the gut induce maladaptive cognitive or affective processes that amplify symptom perception. Symptoms occur in response to cognitive and affective factors that trigger fear of symptoms or lack of acceptance of disease, or from stressors in the external environment. Among the many dietary interventions used to treat patients with IBS, a diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols is the most commonly recommended by health care providers and has the most evidence for efficacy. Patient with IBS who choose to follow a diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols should be aware of its 3 phases: restriction, reintroduction, and personalization. Management of IBS should include an integrated care model in which behavioral interventions, dietary modification, and medications are considered as equal partners. This approach offers the greatest likelihood for success in management of patients with IBS.

Gastroenterology. 2021 Jan;160(1):47-62. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.06.099. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Paediatric functional abdominal pain disorders.



Paediatric functional abdominal pain disorders, currently referred to as disorders of gut-brain interaction, comprise irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, abdominal migraine and functional abdominal pain not otherwise specified, as defined by the Rome IV diagnostic criteria. Functional abdominal pain disorders are common disorders with a prevalence of 3-16% depending on country, age and sex. A greater understanding of aetiopathogenesis and pathophysiology is emerging and includes intestinal components (inflammation, motility and the microbiota), central factors (psychological aspects, sensitization and/or differences in connectivity or activity of certain brain regions) as well as extrinsic factors (infections). In particular, the timing of disruption of the microbiota-gut-brain axis seems to be important. Diagnosis is challenging but is primarily based on clinical symptoms and exclusion of other organic causes, with an emphasis on avoiding unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures. The available pharmacological interventions are limited in children and, therefore, management has focused on combined approaches, including mind-targeted interventions (hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy), diet (probiotics) and percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation. The evidence for their clinical efficacy, although limited, is favourable, with positive impacts on symptoms and overall quality of life. The coming decades hold promise for improved understanding and management of these enigmatic disorders.

Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2020 Nov 5;6(1):89. doi: 10.1038/s41572-020-00222-5.

Practitioners' experiences of using Gut Directed Hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome...



Full title: Practitioners' experiences of using Gut Directed Hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome: Perceived impact upon client wellbeing: A qualitative study.

Gut Directed Hypnosis (GDH) is a specialised form of hypnotherapy originally developed to reduce gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a condition characterised by symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea and/or constipation as well as psychosocial symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Although the specific mechanism of action remains unclear, it is suggested that GDH works on the brain-gut axis to improve GI symptoms, psychological functioning and overall wellbeing. The present study aimed to expand upon the knowledge surrounding GDH by exploring practitioners' experiences of using GDH for IBS and their perceptions of how it impacts upon client wellbeing. Six practitioners trained in GDH participated in one hour semi-structured interviews. Thematic Analyses (TA) was used to analyse data. Three major themes emerged from data including: predisposing personality traits and vulnerabilities associated with IBS; GDH as evidence-based practice; and the future evolution of GDH. The findings from this study add to the growing body of literature exploring the use of GDH for IBS, by incorporating the perspective of practitioners working within this field.

Complement Ther Med. 2020 Dec;55:102605. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102605. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome...



Full title: Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Type Symptoms in Patients with Quiescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Background and aims: Many inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] patients in remission have persisting symptoms, compatible with irritable bowel syndrome [IBS-type symptoms]. We aimed to compare the effectiveness of gut-directed hypnotherapy vs standard medical treatment [SMT] for IBS-type symptoms in IBD patients.

Methods: In this multicentre, randomized, controlled, open-label trial, patients aged 12-65 years with IBD in clinical remission [global assessment] and biochemical remission [faecal calprotectin ?100 µg/g, or ?200 µg/g without inflammation at endoscopy] with IBS according to Rome III criteria were randomized to hypnotherapy or SMT. Primary outcome was the proportion with ?50% reduction on a visual analog scale for symptom severity, as measured with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Severity Scoring System [IBS-SSS] at week 40 [i.e. 6 months after finishing the intervention], compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes included total IBS-SSS score, quality of life, adequate relief, IBS-related cognitions, and depression and anxiety scores.

Results: Eighty patients were included, of whom 70 received at least one session of the allocated treatment and were included in the modified intention-to-treat-population. Seven patients were excluded because of missing baseline data required for the primary outcome. The primary outcome was met in nine [27%] of 33 patients randomized to SMT and nine [30%] of 30 patients randomized to hypnotherapy [p = 0.81]. Adequate relief was reported in 60% and 40% of subjects, respectively. Exploratory analyses of secondary outcomes revealed no apparent differences between the two treatment groups.

Conclusions: Hypnotherapy was not superior to SMT in the treatment of IBS-type symptoms in IBD patients. Both treatment strategies are reasonable options from a clinical perspective.

J Psychosom Res. 2021 Jun 19;148:110553. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2021.110553.

Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Hypnosis in Adult Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Systematic Review



OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of hypnosis in adult irritable bowel syndrome by a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. METHODS: Studies were identified by a literature search of the databases Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Scopus (from inception to June 30, 2013). Primary outcomes were adequate symptom relief, global gastrointestinal score, and safety. Summary relative risks (RRs) with number needed to treat (NNT) and standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using random-effects models. RESULTS: Eight randomized controlled trials with a total of 464 patients and a median of 8.5 (7-12) hypnosis sessions over a median of 12 (5-12) weeks were included into the analysis. At the end of therapy, hypnosis was superior to control conditions in producing adequate symptom relief (RR, 1.69 [95% CI = 1.14-2.51]; NNT, 5 [3-10]) and in reducing global gastrointestinal score (SMD, 0.32 [95% CI = -0.56 to -0.08]). At long-term follow-up, hypnosis was superior to controls in adequate symptom relief (RR, 2.17 [95% CI = 1.22-3.87]; NNT, 3 [2-10]), but not in reducing global gastrointestinal score (SMD, -0.57 [-1.40 to 0.26]). One (0.4%) of 238 patients in the hypnosis group dropped out due to an adverse event (panic attack). CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis demonstrated that hypnosis was safe and provided long-term adequate symptom relief in 54% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome refractory to conventional therapy.

Psychosom Med. 2014 Jun 4. Schaefert R(1), Klose P, Moser G, Häuser W. Author information: (1)From the Department of General Internal Medicine and Psychosomatics (R.S.), University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine (P.K.), Kliniken Essen-Mitte, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany; Department of Internal Medicine III (G.M.), Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Department of Internal Medicine I (W.H.), Klinikum Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, Germany; and Department of Psychosomatic Medicine (W.H.), Technische Universität München, München, Germany.

The role of hypnotherapy for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.



Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic disorders of unknown aetiology which are characterized by episodes of exacerbations and remissions. There is evidence that perceived distress contributes to IBD symptom flares; anxiety and depression are frequently found in patients with the active disease. Because there is no cure, treatment has to focus on prevention of complications, induction/maintenance of remission and improvement of quality of life. Gut-directed hypnotherapy (GHT) has been used successfully in functional gastrointestinal disorders. Few experimental studies and case reports have been published for IBD; GHT increases the health-related quality of life and reduces symptoms. Additionally, GHT seems to have an immune-modulating effect and is able to augment clinical remission in patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis.

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 May 12:1-6. Moser G. Author information: Abteilung für Gastroenterologie und Hepatologie, Univ. Klinik für Innere Medizin III, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090 Wien, Austria.

The Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome...



Full title: The Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Background/Aims: Hypnotherapy is considered as a promising intervention for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the evidence is still limited. The aims of this study were to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the efficacy of hypnotherapy for the treatment of IBS. Methods: A literature search was performed using MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL database). Only randomized controlled trials that compared hypnotherapy with any other conven-tional treatment or no treatment in patients with IBS were included. Studies had to report outcomes as IBS symptom score or quality of life. The mean change in outcome score was used to pool these outcomes for the meta-analysis. Data were syn-thesized using the standardized mean difference for continuous data. Results: Seven randomized controlled trials (6 papers) involving 374 patients with IBS were identified. Performance bias was high in all trials because it was impossible to blind participants and therapists in this type of intervention. The outcomes in this meta-anal-ysis were evaluated at 3 months for short-term effects and at 1 year for long-term effects. The change in abdominal pain score at 3 months was significant in the hypnotherapy group (standardized mean difference, -0.83; 95% CI, -1.65 to -0.01). Three of the 4 trials showed greater improvement in overall gastrointestinal symptoms in the hypnotherapy group. Conclusions: This study provides clearer evidence that hypnotherapy has beneficial short-term effects in improving gastrointestinal symptoms of patients with IBS.

J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Apr 30;20(2):152-162. doi: 10.5056/jnm.2014.20.2.152. Lee HH(1), Choi YY(2), Choi MG(1). Author information: (1)Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. (2)Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Efficacy of combined cognitive-behavior therapy and hypnotherapy in anorexia nervosa: a case study.



A 22-year-old female diagnosed with anorexia nervosa received brief psychotherapy within a span of 1.5 months. Detailed cognitive-behavioral assessment was done and eating attitude was rated. Intervention of eating behavior and cognitive restructuring were initiated along with regular practice of self-hypnosis with ego-strengthening suggestions. Age regression was done to identify conflicts. Significant improvement in eating attitude was noted after 8 sessions without relapse at 3 months. Details of the psychotherapy are discussed.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2014;62(2):224-30. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2014.869140. Roy PK. Author information: a Institute of Psychiatry , Kolkata , India.

Dynamic hypnosis, IBS, and the value of individualizing treatment: a clinical perspective.



Hypnosis has already been proven efficient in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The author was responsible for the hypnotherapy in a Swedish study and adds her clinical experience with IBS patients within and beyond that study. The hypnosis was labeled dynamic, and the treatment utilized the therapists' clinical competence and individually tailored techniques, including gut-oriented symptom relief and hypnoanalysis, separately or in combination. The author presents 2 cases, 1 with a focus on symptom relief and 1 on exploring traumatic causes. She illustrates her clinical rationale for technical flexibility from trauma resolving hypnoanalysis to symptom-alleviating suggestive hypnosis, including dynamics beyond the symptom when such are part of the case history.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2014;62(2):145-63. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2014.869127. Carolusson S. Author information: a Carolusson & Carolusson AB , Göteborg , Sweden.

The efficacy and methodological challenges of psychotherapy for adults...



Full title: The efficacy and methodological challenges of psychotherapy for adults with inflammatory bowel disease: a review.

Adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at a greater risk of anxiety and depression and impaired quality of life (QoL) compared with healthy controls and other chronic physical illness groups. Consequently, the development and evaluation of well-defined and theoretically robust psychotherapeutic interventions for adults with IBD are desirable. To date, interventions have, for the most part, used multiple cross-theoretical approaches. Published reviews are heterogeneous in terms both of categorization of psychotherapeutic approaches and also of conclusions relating to efficacy. A recent Cochrane meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found no evidence for the efficacy of these interventions in adults, as in a number of previous reviews, ideologically disparate interventions (e.g., psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral) were grouped together. We aimed to extend the currently available literature on psychological intervention in IBD by: evaluating the efficacy of specific strategies (i.e., stress management, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral therapy, or hypnosis) in improving psychological symptoms and QoL, including all controlled and noncontrolled studies, and explicating the methodological problems in published trials. Sixteen studies (5 stress management, 4 psychodynamic, 5 cognitive behavioral therapy, and 2 hypnosis) were evaluated. Interventions predominantly based on stress management showed only modest benefits for IBD or mental health symptoms or QoL. Cognitive behavioral therapy studies showed generally consistent benefits in terms of anxiety and depression symptoms, but inconsistent outcomes regarding IBD symptoms. Psychodynamically informed interventions reduced depressive and anxiety symptoms, but not IBD severity. Both hypnosis studies, albeit using different methods, seemed to have a more positive impact on disease severity than mental health symptoms or QoL. Our results suggest that while further well-designed and evaluated interventions are needed, psychological input can make a positive contribution to best practice multidisciplinary treatment of adults with IBD.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2013 Nov;19(12):2704-15. Knowles SR, Monshat K, Castle DJ. *Department of Psychological Sciences and Statistics, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Psychiatry, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; and ‡Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Sensitivity and specificity of hypnosis effects on gastric myoelectrical activity.



OBJECTIVES: The effects of hypnosis on physiological (gastrointestinal) functions are incompletely understood, and it is unknown whether they are hypnosis-specific and gut-specific, or simply unspecific effects of relaxation. DESIGN: Sixty-two healthy female volunteers were randomly assigned to either a single session of hypnotic suggestion of ingesting an appetizing meal and an unappetizing meal, or to relax and concentrate on having an appetizing or unappetizing meal, while the electrogastrogram (EGG) was recorded. At the end of the session, participants drank water until they felt full, in order to detect EGG-signal changes after ingestion of a true gastric load. During both conditions participants reported their subjective well-being, hunger and disgust at several time points. RESULTS: Imagining eating food induced subjective feelings of hunger and disgust as well as changes in the EGG similar to, but more pronounced than those seen with a real gastric water load during both hypnosis and relaxation conditions. These effects were more pronounced when imagining an appetizing meal than with an unappetizing meal. There was no significant difference between the hypnosis and relaxation conditions. CONCLUSION: Imagination with and without hypnosis exhibits similar changes in subjective and objective measures in response to imagining an appetizing and an unappetizing food, indicating high sensitivity but low specificity.

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 16;8(12):e83486. Enck P(1), Hefner J(2), Herbert BM(3), Mazurak N(4), Weimer K(1), Muth ER(5), Zipfel S(1), Martens U(1). (1)Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Hospital, Tübingen, Germany. (2)Department of Internal Medicine II, University Hospital, Würzburg, Germany. (3)Department of Health Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. (4)Central Research Department, Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. (5)Department of Psychology, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, United States of America.

Management of refractory irritable bowel syndrome and comorbid mental ill-health: challenges...



Full Title: Management of refractory irritable bowel syndrome and comorbid mental ill-health: challenges, reflections and patient's perspective of life on the body-mind

This complex case illustrates how blurred the divide between body and mind can be. In a patient with refractory irritable bowel symptoms, the emergence of new social problems exacerbate both psychiatric (anxiety and depression) and physical symptoms. Treatment of the physical symptomatology consisted of acute hospital treatments initially and subsequent primary care consultations. Psychiatric treatment consists of psychopharmacological (venlafaxine and mirtazapine) and psychotherapeutic approaches (cognitive behavioural therapy initially, and clinical hypnosis). The objectives of psychiatric treatment were to stabilise symptoms, reduce hospital admissions and foster self-management. The gains of management are presented. Social difficulties encountered over the period of treatment were legal processes to gain custody of son, bereavement, financial difficulties occasioned by stoppage of welfare benefits and legal processes involved in welfare appeal. Importantly, the patient's perceptive of treatment and care is presented. Detrimental effects that current welfare reforms in the UK may have on health are highlighted.

BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Jun 27;2013. pii: bcr2013009545. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2013-009545. Udo I, Gash A. Department of Liaison Psychiatry, Roseberry Park Hospital, Tees Esk Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Middlesbrough, UK. dr_itoro@yahoo.com

The Efficacy and Methodological Challenges of Psychotherapy for Adults...



Full Title: The Efficacy and Methodological Challenges of Psychotherapy for Adults with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Review.

Adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at a greater risk of anxiety and depression and impaired quality of life (QoL) compared with healthy controls and other chronic physical illness groups. Consequently, the development and evaluation of well-defined and theoretically robust psychotherapeutic interventions for adults with IBD are desirable. To date, interventions have, for the most part, used multiple cross-theoretical approaches. Published reviews are heterogeneous in terms both of categorization of psychotherapeutic approaches and also of conclusions relating to efficacy. A recent Cochrane meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found no evidence for the efficacy of these interventions in adults, as in a number of previous reviews, ideologically disparate interventions (e.g., psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral) were grouped together. We aimed to extend the currently available literature on psychological intervention in IBD by: evaluating the efficacy of specific strategies (i.e., stress management, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral therapy, or hypnosis) in improving psychological symptoms and QoL, including all controlled and noncontrolled studies, and explicating the methodological problems in published trials. Sixteen studies (5 stress management, 4 psychodynamic, 5 cognitive behavioral therapy, and 2 hypnosis) were evaluated. Interventions predominantly based on stress management showed only modest benefits for IBD or mental health symptoms or QoL. Cognitive behavioral therapy studies showed generally consistent benefits in terms of anxiety and depression symptoms, but inconsistent outcomes regarding IBD symptoms. Psychodynamically informed interventions reduced depressive and anxiety symptoms, but not IBD severity. Both hypnosis studies, albeit using different methods, seemed to have a more positive impact on disease severity than mental health symptoms or QoL. Our results suggest that while further well-designed and evaluated interventions are needed, psychological input can make a positive contribution to best practice multidisciplinary treatment of adults with IBD.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2013 Jul 10. Knowles SR, Monshat K, Castle DJ. *Department of Psychological Sciences and Statistics, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia; †Department of Psychiatry, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; and ‡Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Long-Term Success of GUT-Directed Group Hypnosis for Patients With Refractory IBS



Full title: Long-Term Success of GUT-Directed Group Hypnosis for Patients With Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Gut-directed hypnotherapy (GHT) in individual sessions is highly effective in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This study aimed to assess the long-term effect of GHT in group sessions for refractory IBS. A total of 164 patients with IBS (Rome-III-criteria) were screened, and 100 refractory to usual treatment were randomized 1:1 either to supportive talks with medical treatment (SMT) or to SMT with GHT (10 weekly sessions within 12 weeks). The primary end point was a clinically important improvement on several dimensions of daily life (assessed by IBS impact scale) after treatment and 12-month follow-up. The secondary end point was improvement in general quality of life (QOL; Medical Outcome Study Short-Form-36), psychological status (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale) and reduction of single IBS symptoms. Analysis was by intention to treat. A total of 90 patients received allocated intervention. After treatment, 28 (60.8%) out of 46 GHT patients and 18 (40.9%) out of 44 SMTs improved (absolute difference 20.0%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0-40.2%; P=0.046); over 15 months, 54.3% of GHT patients and 25.0% of controls improved (absolute difference 29.4%; 95% CI 10.1-48.6%; P=0.004). GHT with SMT improved physical and psychological well being significantly more than SMT alone (P<0.001). Gender, age, disease duration and IBS type did not have an influence on the long-term success of GHT. GHT improves IBS-related QOL, is superior to SMT alone, and shows a long-term effect even in refractory IBS.

Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 Apr;108(4):602-9. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.19. Moser G, Trägner S, Gajowniczek EE, Mikulits A, Michalski M, Kazemi-Shirazi L, Kulnigg-Dabsch S, Führer M, Ponocny-Seliger E, Dejaco C, Miehsler W. Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Psychological Treatments in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders...



Full title: Psychological Treatments in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Primer for the Gastroenterologist.

The functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) often show inadequate response to usual medical care. Psychological treatments can help improve functional gastrointestinal disorder patient outcomes, and such treatment should be considered for patients who have moderate or severe symptoms after 3-6 months of medical care and those whose symptoms are clearly exacerbated by stress or emotional symptoms. Effective psychological treatments, which are based on multiple randomized controlled trials, include cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome and pediatric functional abdominal pain, cognitive behavioral therapy for functional chest pain, and biofeedback for dyssynergic constipation in adults. Successful referral by the gastroenterologist for psychological treatment is facilitated by educating the patient about the rationale for such treatment, reassurance about the diagnosis and continuation of medical care, firm doctor-patient therapeutic alliance, and identification of and communication with an appropriate psychological services provider.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Oct 24. pii: S1542-3565(12)01286-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2012.10.031. Palsson OS, Whitehead WE. Center for Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Hypnosis to alleviate the symptoms of ciguatera toxicity: a case study.



Ciguatera toxicity is a poisoning from consuming reef fish that had fed on dinoflagellates such as Gambierdiscus toxicus found along coral reefs. The toxin is oil soluble, odorless, colorless, tasteless, heat stable, and is concentrated in larger carnivorous fish such as amberjack, barracuda, eel, grouper, red snapper, sea bass, and Spanish mackerel. Onset of symptoms is usually within 6-12 hours after ingestion. Gastrointestinal symptoms lasting 1-2 days include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Neurological symptoms may persist for weeks or several months or--rarely--years and include circumoral and extremity paresthesias, temperature sensation reversal, itching, weakness, ataxia, and others. A patient with burning hands and feet who had not found relief using other methods had diagnosis of ciguatera toxicity assisted by hypnotically refreshed memory followed by rapid relief with hypnotic suggestions in 1 session and remained free of symptoms.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2012 Jan;54(3):179-83. Laser ED, Shenefelt PD. Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, MDC 079, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Long-term follow-up of gut-directed hypnotherapy vs. standard care in children...



Full title: Long-term follow-up of gut-directed hypnotherapy vs. standard care in children with functional abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome.

OBJECTIVES: We previously showed that gut-directed hypnotherapy (HT) is highly effective in the treatment of children with functional abdominal pain (FAP) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Aim of this follow-up study was to investigate the long-term effects of HT vs. standard medical treatment plus supportive therapy (SMT). METHODS: All 52 participants of our previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) were invited to complete a standardized abdominal pain diary, on which pain frequency and pain intensity were scored. Furthermore, the Children's Somatization Inventory (CSI) and a general quality of life (QOL) questionnaire were filled out. Clinical remission was defined as > 80% improvement in pain scores compared with baseline.
RESULTS: All 27 HT patients and 22 out of 25 SMT patients participated in this study. Two patients of the SMT group were lost to follow-up and one refused to participate. After a mean duration of 4.8 years follow-up (3.4-6.7), HT was still highly superior to conventional therapy with 68 vs. 20% of the patients in remission after treatment (P = 0.005). Pain intensity and pain frequency scores at follow-up were 2.8 and 2.3, respectively, in the HT group compared with 7.3 and 7.1 in the SMT group (P < 0.01). Also, somatization scores were lower in the HT group (15.2 vs. 22.8; P = 0.04). No differences were found in QOL, doctors' visits, and missed days of school or work between the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS: The beneficial effects of gut-directed HT are long lasting in children with FAP or IBS with two thirds still in remission almost 5 years after treatment, making it a highly valuable therapeutic option.

J Gastroenterol. 2012 Apr;107(4):627-31. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.487 Vlieger AM, Rutten JM, Govers AM, Frankenhuis C, Benninga MA. Department of Pediatrics, St Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. a.vlieger@antoniusziekenhuis.nl

Pharmacologic and complementary and alternative medicine therapies for irritable bowel syndrome.



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by episodic abdominal pain or discomfort in association with altered bowel habits (diarrhea and/or constipation). Other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating and flatulence, are also common. A variety of factors are believed to play a role in the development of IBS symptoms, including altered bowel motility, visceral hypersensitivity, psychosocial stressors, altered brain-gut interactions, immune activation/low grade inflammation, alterations in the gut microbiome, and genetic factors. In the absence of biomarkers that can distinguish between IBS subgroups on the basis of pathophysiology, treatment of this condition is predicated upon a patient's most bothersome symptoms. In clinical trials, effective therapies have only offered a therapeutic gain over placebos of 7-15%. Evidence based therapies for the global symptoms of constipation predominant IBS (IBS-C) include lubiprostone and tegaserod; evidence based therapies for the global symptoms of diarrhea predominant IBS (IBS-D) include the probiotic Bifidobacter infantis, the nonabsorbable antibiotic rifaximin, and alosetron. Additionally, there is persuasive evidence to suggest that selected antispasmodics and antidepressants are of benefit for the treatment of abdominal pain in IBS patients. Finally, several emerging therapies with novel mechanisms of action are in development. Complementary and alternative medicine therapies including probiotics, herbal therapies and acupuncture are gaining popularity among IBS sufferers, although concerns regarding manufacturing standards and the paucity of high quality efficacy and safety data remain.

Gut Liver. 2011 Sep;5(3):253-66. Epub 2011 Aug 18. Chey WD, Maneerattaporn M, Saad R. Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Decreased pain inhibition in irritable bowel syndrome depends on altered descending modulation...



Full Title: Decreased pain inhibition in irritable bowel syndrome depends on altered descending modulation and higher-order brain processes.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder involving abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction. IBS pain symptoms have been hypothesized to depend on peripheral and central mechanisms, but the pathophysiology is still unclear. The aim of the present study was to assess the contribution of cerebral and cerebrospinal processes to pain inhibition deficits in IBS. Fourteen female patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D) and 14 healthy female volunteers were recruited. Acute pain and the nociceptive withdrawal reflex (RIII reflex) were evoked by transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the right sural nerve with modulation by hetero-segmental counter-irritation produced by sustained cold pain applied on the left forearm. Psychological symptoms were assessed by questionnaires. Shock pain decreased significantly during counter-irritation in the controls (P<0.001) but not in IBS patients (P=0.52). Similarly, RIII-reflex amplitude declined during counter-irritation in the controls (P=0.009) but not in IBS patients (P=0.11). Furthermore, pain-related anxiety increased during counter-irritation in IBS patients (P=0.003) but not in the controls (P=0.74). Interestingly, across all subjects, counter-irritation analgesia was positively correlated with RIII-reflex inhibition (r=0.39, P=0.04) and negatively with pain-related anxiety (r=-0.61, P<0.001). In addition, individual differences in counter-irritation analgesia were predicted independently by the modulation of RIII responses (P=0.03) and by pain catastrophizing (P=0.01), with the latter mediating the effect of pain-related anxiety. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that pain inhibition deficits in female IBS-D patients depend on two potentially separable mechanisms reflecting: (1) altered descending modulation and (2) higher-order brain processes underlying regulation of pain and affect.

Neuroscience. 2011 Nov 10;195C:166-175. Piché M, Bouin M, Arsenault M, Poitras P, Rainville P. Department of Chiropractic, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, C.P 500, Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada G9A 5H7; Groupe de Recherche sur le Système Nerveux Central (GRSNC), Université de Montréal, C.P 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7; Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cognition (CERNEC), Université de Montréal, C.P 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7; Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM), 4545, Chemin Queen-Mary Montréal (Québec), H3W 1W4.

Tandem hypnosis with identical bulimic twins: case report.



Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of bulimia nervosa from the early 1980s. Dissociation theory identified a certain subgroup of eating disordered patients with dissociative signs and symptoms. These patients react well to hypnotherapy. Simultaneous hypnosis ("tandem hypnosis") in the treatment of two female 19-year-old monozygotic twins led to a very successful outcome after 6 sessions. During the therapy, attempts were made to work through the physical abuse the subjects suffered from their father. Hypnobehavioural methods were used and treatment was combined with five individual sessions. In the cases presented here, the subjects' traumatic history, their high hypnotic susceptibility, and the effectiveness of hypnotherapy seem to support the dissociative mechanism of symptom development. A systemic approach involving the integration of family therapeutical and hypnotherapeutical interventions proved to be useful. The role of these types of hypnotherapy interventions is still undervalued.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2011 Apr;53(4):271-81. Túry F, Wildmann M, Szentes A. Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary 1089 Budapest, Nagyvárad tér 4. tury@t-online.hu

Inflammatory bowel disease.



This article reviews the etiology, clinical characteristics, and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and associated psychological sequelae in children and adolescents with this lifelong disease. Pediatric-onset IBD, consisting of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, has significant medical morbidity and in many young persons is also associated with psychological and psychosocial challenges. Depression and anxiety are particularly prevalent and have a multifaceted etiology, including IBD-related factors such as cytokines and steroids used to treat IBD and psychosocial stress. A growing number of empirically supported interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and educational resources, help youth and their parents cope with IBD as well as the psychological and psychosocial sequelae. While there is convincing evidence that such interventions can help improve anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life, their effects on IBD severity and course await further study.

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2010 Apr;19(2):301-18, ix. Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. szigethye@upmc.edu

Management of stress in inflammatory bowel disease: a therapeutic option?



There is increasing evidence that psychological stress and associated mood disorders are linked with, and can adversely affect the course of, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Unfortunately, owing to methodological difficulties inherent in undertaking appropriately targeted and blinded trials, there are limited high-quality data regarding the effects on IBD of interventions aimed to ameliorate stress and mood disorders. Nevertheless, patients want psychological intervention as well as conventional medical strategies. Emerging trial evidence supports the suggestion that psychologically orientated therapy may ameliorate IBD-associated mood disorders, but there are no strong data as of yet to indicate that stress management has a beneficial effect on the activity or course of IBD. As yet, which, when and how interventions targeted at psychological stress and mood disturbances should be offered to individual patients with IBD is not clear.

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Dec;3(6):661-79. Goodhand JR, Wahed M, Rampton DS. Centre for Gastroenterology, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4 Newark Street, London, E1 2AT, UK. j.goodhand@qmul.ac.uk

Standardized hypnosis treatment for irritable bowel syndrome



Full Title: Standardized hypnosis treatment for irritable bowel syndrome: the North Carolina protocol

The North Carolina protocol is a seven-session hypnosis-treatment approach for irritable bowel syndrome that is unique in that the entire course of treatment is designed for verbatim delivery. The protocol has been tested in two published research studies and found to benefit more than 80% of patients. This article describes the development, content, and testing of the protocol, and how it is used in clinical practice.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2006 Jan;54(1):51-64. Palsson OS. Division of Digestive Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. opalsson@med.unc.edu

Hypnosis home treatment for irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot study



Hypnosis treatment often improves irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the costs and reliance on specialized therapists limit its availability. A 3-month home-treatment version of a scripted hypnosis protocol previously shown to improve all central IBS symptoms was completed by 19 IBS patients. Outcomes were compared to those of 57 matched IBS patients from a separate study receiving only standard medical care. Ten of the hypnosis subjects (53%) responded to treatment by 3-month follow-up (response defined as more than 50% reduction in IBS severity) vs. 15 (26%) of controls. Hypnosis subjects improved more in quality of life scores compared to controls. Anxiety predicted poor treatment response. Hypnosis responders remained improved at 6-month follow-up. Although response rate was lower than previously observed in therapist-delivered treatment, hypnosis home treatment may double the proportion of IBS patients improving significantly across 6 months.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2006 Jan;54(1):85-99. Palsson OS, Turner MJ, Whitehead WE. Division of Digestive Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. opalsson@med.unc.edu

Brief cognitive-behavioral internet therapy for irritable bowel syndrome



While cognitive-behavioral therapy for IBS is quite effective, the limited availability of competent therapists and lack of access to treatment remain problematic. This paper reports on a small, randomized, controlled trial of a five week internet based cognitive-behavioral intervention for IBS with limited therapist feedback via e-mail. Fifty-four IBS patients were recruited via the internet and randomly assigned to either immediate treatment or a wait-list control group. Thirty-one subjects completed the post-treatment assessment. 77% of treatment completers also completed a 3-month follow-up assessment. Treatment completers experienced statistically and clinically significant declines in IBS symptoms and improvements in quality of life. Those gains were substantially maintained at follow-up. Treatment efficacy was partially mediated by reductions in the tendency to catastrophize the social and occupational implications of symptoms, suggesting that catastrophizing may be an important target for treatment.

Behav Res Ther. 2009 Sep;47(9):797-802. Epub 2009 May 20. Hunt MG, Moshier S, Milonova M. Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6241, USA. mhunt@psych.upenn.edu

Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome



BACKGROUND AND AIMS: There is now good evidence from several sources that hypnotherapy can relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in the short term. However, there is no long term data on its benefits and this information is essential before the technique can be widely recommended. This study aimed to answer this question. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 204 patients prospectively completed questionnaires scoring symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression before, immediately after, and up to six years following hypnotherapy. All subjects also subjectively assessed the effects of hypnotherapy retrospectively in order to define their "responder status". RESULTS: 71% of patients initially responded to therapy. Of these, 81% maintained their improvement over time while the majority of the remaining 19% claimed that deterioration of symptoms had only been slight. With respect to symptom scores, all items at follow up were significantly improved on pre-hypnotherapy levels (p<0.001) and showed little change from post-hypnotherapy values. There were no significant differences in the symptom scores between patients assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5+ years following treatment. Quality of life and anxiety or depression scores were similarly still significantly improved at follow up (p<0.001) but did show some deterioration. Patients also reported a reduction in consultation rates and medication use following the completion of hypnotherapy. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapy appear to last at least five years. Thus it is a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

Gut. 2003 Nov;52(11):1623-9. Gonsalkorale WM, Miller V, Afzal A, Whorwell PJ. Department of Medicine, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK. wgonsalkorale@compuserve.com

Mind-body complementary alternative medicine use and quality of life in adolescents with inflammator



Full Title: Mind-body complementary alternative medicine use and quality of life in adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease.

BACKGROUND:: Mind-body complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities (e.g., relaxation or meditation) for symptom management have not been well studied in adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The purposes of this study were to: 1) determine the prevalence of 5 types of mind-body CAM use, and consideration of use for symptom management; 2) assess characteristics associated with regular mind-body CAM use; and 3) examine whether regular and/or considered mind-body CAM use are associated with health-related quality of life (HRQOL). METHODS:: Sixty-seven adolescents with IBD ages 12-19 recruited from a children's hospital completed a questionnaire on CAM use and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Logistic regression models were estimated for regular and considered CAM use. RESULTS:: Participants mean (SD) age was 15.5 (2.1) years; 37 (55%) were female; 53 (79%) were white; and 20 (30%) had moderate disease severity. Adolescents used prayer (62%), relaxation (40%), and imagery (21%) once/day to once/week for symptom management. In multivariate analyses, females were more likely to use relaxation (odds ratio [OR] = 4.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.25-15.29, c statistic = 0.73). Younger adolescents were more likely to regularly use (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.42-0.95, c statistic = 0.72) or consider using (OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.59-1.00, c statistic = 0.64) meditation. Adolescents with more severe disease (OR = 4.17, 95% CI = 1.07-16.29, c statistic = 0.83) were more willing to consider using relaxation in the future. Adolescents with worse HRQOL were more willing to consider using prayer and meditation for future symptom management (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:: Many adolescents with IBD either currently use or would consider using mind-body CAM for symptom management. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2009.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Aug 24. Cotton S, Humenay Roberts Y, Tsevat J, Britto MT, Succop P, McGrady ME, Yi MS. Department of Family Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome--a systematic review



The Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent functional disorder with a remarkable clinical and economic impact. Several pathogenetic factors of IBS are discussed and summarised within a bio-psycho-social model. Data from published hypnotherapeutic interventions with approximately 800 patients show long-lasting symptom relief. The underlying mechanisms of action are not well understood. Nine mechanism studies show influences of hypnosis on colorectal sensitivity, colorectal motility and mental strain (anxiety, depression, maladaptive cognitions). Results are often contradictory and effects of hypnosis on several of the proposed pathogenetic factors are not examined at all. This paper reviews previous studies on hypnotherapy in IBS patients with a focus on symptom relief and mechanisms of action.

Z Gastroenterol. 2009 Nov;47(11):1153-9. Epub 2009 Nov 6. Hefner J, Rilk A, Herbert BM, Zipfel S, Enck P, Martens U. Abteilung Innere Medizin VI, Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Universität Tübingen. jochen.hefner@t-online.de

Using art to help understand the imagery of irritable bowel syndrome



Full Title: Using art to help understand the imagery of irritable bowel syndrome and its response to hypnotherapy

A medical artist asked 109 patients if they had an image of their IBS pre- and posthypnotherapy, making precise watercolor paintings of any images described. Results were related to treatment outcome, symptoms, anxiety, depression, and absorption (hypnotizability); 49% of patients had an image, and a wide variety were recorded and painted. Imagery was significantly associated with gender (p < .05), anxiety (p < .05), noncolonic symptomatology (p < .05), and absorption (p = .001); 57.8% of responders compared with 35.5% of nonresponders to hypnotherapy had an image of their disease (p < .05) before treatment, and color images were associated with better outcomes (p = .05) than monochrome ones. All images changed in responders, often becoming more nonspecific in nature. Inquiring about IBS imagery helps to identify potential responders and nonresponders to hypnotherapy and may also provide insights into how patients think about their illness.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2009 Apr;57(2):162-73. Carruthers HR, Miller V, Morris J, Evans R, Tarrier N, Whorwell PJ. University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Hypnotherapy for functional gastrointestinal disorders: a review



Patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, and noncardiac chest pain, can suffer from a range of severe symptoms that often substantially erode quality of life. Unfortunately, these conditions are notoriously difficult to treat, with many patients failing to improve despite being prescribed a wide variety of conventional medications. As a consequence, the potential benefits of hypnotherapy have been explored with evidence that this approach not only relieves symptoms but also appears to restore many of the putative psychological and physiological abnormalities associated with these conditions toward normal. These observations suggest that this form of treatment has considerable potential in aiding the management of functional gastrointestinal disorders and should be integrated into the ongoing medical care that these patients are receiving.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2009 Jul;57(3):279-92. Miller V, Whorwell PJ. University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Mindfulness for irritable bowel syndrome: protocol development for a controlled clinical trial



BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a functional bowel disorder with symptoms of abdominal pain and disturbed defecation experienced by 10% of U.S. adults, results in significant disability, impaired quality of life, and health-care burden. Conventional medical care focusing on pharmacological approaches, diet, and lifestyle management has been partially effective in controlling symptoms. Behavioral treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and hypnosis, are promising. This paper describes an on-going feasibility study to assess the efficacy of mindfulness training, a behavioral treatment involving directing and sustaining attention to present-moment experience, for the treatment of IBS. METHODS/DESIGN: The study design involves randomization of adult women with IBS according to Rome II criteria, to either an eight-week mindfulness training group (based on a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction [MBSR] format) or a previously validated IBS social-support group as an attention-control condition. The primary hypothesis is that, compared to Support Group participants, those in the Mindfulness Program will demonstrate significant improvement in IBS symptoms as measured by the IBS Symptom Severity Scale [1]. DISCUSSION: 214 individuals have been screened for eligibility, of whom 148 were eligible for the study. Of those, 87 were enrolled, with 21 withdrawing after having given consent. 66 have completed or are in the process of completing the interventions. It is feasible to undertake a rigorous randomized clinical trial of mindfulness training for people with IBS, using a standardized MBSR protocol adapted for those experiencing IBS, compared to a control social-support group previously utilized in IBS studies. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT00680693.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009 Jul 28. Gaylord SA, Whitehead WE, Coble RS, Faurot KR, Palsson OS, Garland EL, Frey W, Mann JD. Program on Integrative Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. susan_gaylord@med.unc.edu

Irritable bowel syndrome: a mild disorder; purely symptomatic treatment.



(1) Patients frequently complain of occasional bowel movement disorders, associated with abdominal pain or discomfort, but they are rarely due to an underlying organ involvement. Even when patients have recurrent symptoms, serious disorders are no more frequent in these patients than in the general population, unless other manifestations, anaemia, or an inflammatory syndrome is also present; (2) There is currently no way of radically modifying the natural course of recurrent irritable bowel syndrome; (3) The effects of antispasmodics on abdominal pain have been tested in about 20 randomised controlled trials. Pinaverium and peppermint essential oil have the best-documented efficacy and only moderate adverse effects. Antispasmodics with marked atropinic effects do not have a favourable risk-benefit balance; (4) Tricylic antidepressants seem to have only modest analgesic effects in this setting. In contrast, their adverse effects are frequent and they have somewhat negative risk-benefit balances. Nor has the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) been demonstrated; (5) Alosetron and tegaserod carry a risk of potentially life-threatening adverse effects and therefore have negative risk-benefit balances; (6) Seeds of plants such as psyllium and ispaghul, as well as raw apples and pears, have a limited impact on constipation and pain. Osmotic laxatives are effective on constipation. Symptomatic treatments for constipation can sometimes aggravate abdominal discomfort; (7) Loperamide has been poorly assessed in patients with recurrent irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea. It modestly slows bowel movement but does not relieve pain or abdominal discomfort; (8) Dietary measures have not been tested in comparative trials. Some patients are convinced that certain foods provoke a recurrence of irritable bowel syndrome, but restrictive diets carry a risk of nutritional deficiencies; (9) Various techniques intended to control emotional and psychological disturbances have been proposed, including relaxation, biofeedback, hypnosis, and psychotherapy. The results of clinical trials are not convincing; (10) Oral products containing live bacteria, designed to change the equilibrium of intestinal flora, have been tested in 13 placebo-controlled trials, with inconsistent results. A few cases of septicaemia have been reported; (11) The six available trials of acupuncture (versus sham acupuncture) showed no more than a placebo effect; (12) In practice, patients who have recurrent irritable bowel syndrome but with no other signs of a condition warranting specific treatment should be reassured as to the harmless nature of their disorder if a careful physical examination and basic laboratory tests are negative. The only available treatments have purely symptomatic effects and only limited efficacy. It is best to avoid using all treatments and additional diagnostic investigations that carry a risk of disproportionate adverse effects.

Prescrire Int. 2009 Apr;18(100):75-9.

Feasibility and acceptability of gut-directed hypnosis on inflammatory bowel disease.



Hypnotically assisted treatments have been used to reduce stress, improve gastrointestinal motility, strengthen immune function, and potentially reduce inflammation. Such treatments may also help reduce disease flares and improve quality of life in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The authors report the results of a case series of 8 white female patients with inactive IBD. All participants initiated and completed treatment, supporting the general acceptability of hypnotically assisted treatment among IBD patients. There was a significant improvement in IBD-quality of life scores for the group posttreatment, t(7) = -3.38, p = .01, with a mean improvement in quality of life of 29 points with significant changes in all 4 subscales. No negative effects of treatment were found.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2007 Oct;55(4):457-66. Keefer L, Keshavarzian A. Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA. laurie.keefer@northwestern.edu

What you need to KNOW to avoid Partially Hydrogenated Oil alias! TRANS FAT



by Robert DeMaria DC, DABCO, FASBE, NHD

Are you ready for another fat article? By now most people in America have been so inundated with news about FAT that there we are actually living in a FAT phobia epidemic. Confusion is everywhere. FAT or OIL is not the ENEMY the kind of oil the consumers are choosing is the problem!! You need to make wise selections. Well meaning FREE LANCE writers are looking for information to attempt to educate the public about staying thin while you eat. The food manufactures are scurrying to find an alternative for the oils they fry and cook with, keeping the taste appealing and the government off their backs while attempting keep the profit margins up for their investors. Read any of the business news papers and you will see huge players in the food industry make announcements on changing their source of cooking oils. Do you know why they are switching? Better educated consumers are demanding healthier ingredients. Education and the access to information have changed the world in which we eat and live.

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Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy in the treatment of irritable-bowel-syndrome-induced agoraphobia.



There are a number of clinical reports and a body of research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Likewise, there exists research demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of IBS. However, there is little written about the integration of CBT and hypnotherapy in the treatment of IBS and a lack of clinical information about IBS-induced agoraphobia. This paper describes the etiology and treatment of IBS-induced agoraphobia. Cognitive, behavioral, and hypnotherapeutic techniques are integrated to provide an effective cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy (CBH) treatment for IBS-induced agoraphobia. This CBH approach for treating IBS-induced agoraphobia is described and clinical data are reported.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2007 Apr;55(2):131-46. Golden WL. williamgolden@optonline.net

Complementary and alternative medicine for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.



To review the evidence supporting selected complementary and alternative medicine approaches used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: MEDLINE (from January 1966), EMBASE (from January 1980), and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched until March 2008, combining the terms irritable bowel syndrome or irritable colon with complementary therapies, alternative medicine, acupuncture, fiber, peppermint oil, herbal, traditional, yoga, massage, meditation, mind, relaxation, probiotic, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, or behavior therapy. Results were screened to include only clinical trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Level I evidence was available for most interventions. MAIN MESSAGE: Soluble fibre improves constipation and global IBS symptoms. Peppermint oil alleviates IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain. Probiotic trials show overall benefit for IBS but there is little evidence supporting the use of any specific strain. Hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy are also effective therapeutic options for appropriate patients. Certain herbal formulas are supported by limited evidence, but safety is a potential concern. All interventions are supported by systematic reviews or meta-analyses. CONCLUSION: Several complementary and alternative therapies can be recommended as part of an evidence-based approach to the treatment of IBS; these might provide patients with satisfactory relief and improve the therapeutic alliance.

Can Fam Physician. 2009 Feb;55(2):143-8. Comment in: Can Fam Physician. 2009 Feb;55(2):126-7, 128-9. Shen YH, Nahas R. Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of Ottawa in Ontario.

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