The IBS Audio Program 100

Current information on Irritable Bowel Syndrome for professionals and patients, including research and clinical issues as
well as practical information and help for all patients suffering from IBS.

Hypnotherapy has been officially recognized since 1958 by the American Medical Association and has continued to
 grow and show success in the use for IBS, including hospitals, research centers, gastroenterology practices and more.

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Ponderings of an IBSer
Originally posted to the IBS Self Help Group in 2000

by Shawn Eric Case
Webmaster for The IBS Audio Program 100, IBSHealth and IBSHope websites.
Moderator for on IBS

I was just thinking of expressing some of my thoughts on IBS and having it for thirty nine years. I have pain predominate IBS and alternating C and D. Although I can say had and really mean it, as I am doing so much better at about (85%) and I believe still improving thanks to this BB and Mike's tapes.

I believe my IBS started from a trip to Mexico where I swallowed a small amount of chlorinated water out of a swimming pool and a half hour later, I was very sick with amoebic dysentery and spent the next month seriously close to death. No Joke. They also pumped tons of penicillin into me at this time. However, amoebic dysentery is known to cause inflammation in the digestive tract. I recovered from that and I don't remember when or how soon I came back from Mexico, I was suffering from severe abdominal pain and alternating c and d.

It wasn't to long before they started the first tests on me and that that testing would continue on and off for a big part of my life and cost thousands of dollars.
The first tests were stool samples and upper gi tests all negative. The next test was a lower gi, also negative. Blood tests and all the regular tests from a normal MD. I was ten. In those days no one had a clue about IBS and they called it spastic colon or nervous stomach.

I missed a lot of school and was always trying to catch up in my school work.
Since the good doctors couldn't figure it out, I was sent for therapy and put on librium and told it was psychosomatic.

I struggled for years through school, some working and trying to explain to friends why I was in pain a lot and could not do things. Dating was a problem. They thought I had a stomach ache and it would go away and I should just quite being a big baby. Funny because my boss said that to me also, ten years later as well as a lot of coworkers.
More testing. Basically the same kinds of tests over again. When your in your teens and your seeing some upstate NY MD in a small town in those days testing didn't amount to much.

Still no practical advise from anyone on what to do.

My parents were very supportive and my mom is a nurse, which was very helpful and supportive. However, sometimes my moms own concern bothered me as she could not help and I could see that in her eyes while I laid there in complete agony from the knife jabbing sharp pains which sometimes felt like Charlie horses or migraine feelings coming from my gut. When I got these pains I would hyperventilate and all kinds of thoughts raced through my head.

For me this was already establishing itself into my thought patterns on a day to day basis's and I didn't really know much about living any other way as I hit my late teens. I was having episodes at least two to four times a week and that continued until I join this bb two years ago, although I would have some remissions they always came back and for a while my IBS went cyclic and bothered me most in the winter months, but in the summer improved somewhat. But it came back.

Meanwhile, I continued to try to figure some of it out for myself, in ways I could manage it or do things to reduce it. Late teens to late twenties. More tests. "Maybe an ulcer, but we don't see it." New drugs, and from there librax, donnatol, prescription tagament, and a few others I don't even remember, but prozac was one as well. No noticeable long term improvement. Mid thirties. I got serious and went to the best GI doc in town and told him to test away on everything we could think of that might be applicable. Also worried it could be something else still, although nothing showed up before he tested me and after he tested me. More drugs. Bentyl and valium. Sent to therapy told to relieve stress. I knew this wasn't the cause and thought because the pain was so severe that something had to be wrong in there, it just couldn't be possible to have this much pain and not have something physically that they could see wrong. I just didn't get it. I did know stress aggravated it but not to the extent I do now or the kinds of stress either environmental, physical, or psychological and at the time I did not know how to reduce it enough with the management techniques I was using and I used a lot of them. I tried all the food aspects and nothing other then some common sense on most things. Although it made sense what was going in had something to do with it, but in reality looking back now, it was common sense issues of eating to much to fast, fat, spices etc..

There were some weird signals before an attack. My skin would turn whiter, my eyes would twitch and my hands would sweat. Sometimes I would get dizzy.

My therapist had migraines and knew nothing about IBS, other then realizing some of the symptoms sounded somewhat like some symptoms she would get with her migraines and that it was not in my head (psychosomatic or crazy) and I should go back to the doctor. It wasn't helping me to see her so I agreed. Although she didn't explain serotonin to me, nor did my doctor take the time to either. I feel if someone would have explained some of the mind-gut connections earlier I could have save a lot of time and effort. I know some are relatively new, but I think they had some idea and either it was to complicated to explain to me or they just didn't have the time. I think at this point one of the best things a doctor can do is explain some of this to new patients. I didn't have any other issues I was healthily otherwise and was playing soccer for twenty years and going professional until I blew my kneecap out.

I believe I personally have a classic case of IBS. For me I believe it is faulty neurotransmitters that are not talking right between my brain and my gut.

Just some thoughts and thank god for hypnotherapy, which I want to add some of my thoughts on as a side note. Of course most people know I work with Mike now, but some probably do not. After meeting him on the bb here and the success I had I decided to work with him as I feel he has one of the most effective treatment tools for IBS. I am drug free and very happy with the results.

I want to say something about hypnotherapy in general and what I believe and have seen for myself and these are my own personal comments from my experiences with it. Although, many others feel the same way now.

It is the deepest from of relaxation I personally have ever found.

It has tremendously reduced the pain for me from severe to very mild. I think this has worked two ways. It has steered my thoughts and attention away from the pain when I want and I also believe the relaxation aspect of it is releasing endorphins to my gut. This has been a big achievement and will save me trips to the ER.

When I wake up in the morning I no longer have IBS on my mind first thing. I no longer dwell on it. I don't worry to much about going out or bathrooms any more. I know longer turn white or have my hands sweat. I can relax my gut at will.

My whole body is more relaxed in general and I didn't realize how tense it was before.
I breath better and more deeply. Which I have found useful if I feel any twinges of a potential problem.

I sleep better and more deeply. Day to day problems don't bother me like they use to.
I can eat things I couldn't before. I feel like I have been rewired so to speak.
My BM's have improved substantially. There are symptoms I don't even remember and that is unbelievable.

Anyway just some thoughts of an IBSer pondering.

I don't know if this helps anyone and I also don't want to say hypnosis is a cure or the only thing people should be doing to manage IBS, but it is one major effective tool that isn't understood by a lot of people or used enough by doctors in the IBS world and why I sound like a broken record sometimes.

However, I hope no one gets tired of hearing about something that really works for the majority of people with IBS as there are just to few of the things that do.


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Please have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or doctor. It is important to remember that you cannot
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