Avoiding triggers and stress are the usual recommendations given to people with IBS. What no one tells you is that you have to figure out your trigger and stressors, and that you might continue to develop more over time. And then the triggers you developed might go away, being replaced by new ones. Just avoiding triggers and stress is not always as easy as it sounds.
More recently though, there has been research done into the connection between IBS and the brain. According to mayoclinic.com:
There are a number of other factors that may play a role in IBS. For example, people with IBS may have abnormal serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that’s normally associated with brain function, but it also plays a role in normal digestive system function.
I’ve read a lot about the brain-belly connection in IBS patients (there’s an interesting article on the John Hopkins website), but I don’t really know how it applies to me or what to do about it. So when I saw a listing for a study being done by Northwestern to explore hypnosis and therapy based treatment for IBS, I decided anything was better than what I’ve experienced lately.
For the first time in a long time, I’m imagining what life would be like without the regular pressure I feel against my waistband. A part of me scoffs at this idea, believing my discomfort will never go away. The risk for me is in the imagining, the hoping, the deep desire for this study to work. I still need to go through one more phase to qualify. If I do, then I’ll be committing myself to a one year involvement in the study, a year that will hopefully end in relief.