Symptoms of psychological distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, feeling “stressed out”) are a significant part of IBS for many people. Diet modification, drug treatments, and physiotherapy can significantly reduce IBS symptoms, but they may not address the psychological burden of living with a chronic condition.
The current body of evidence shows that there are several psychotherapeutic treatments available to improve the quality of life of people with IBS. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)and hypnotherapy are among those treatments shown to improve to be beneficial.
Even if IBS symptoms are well controlled, anxiety or worry about symptoms reappearing can persist. Your doctor can refer you to a mental health professional if you have concerns about your mental state. Even if you feel nothing is psychologically ‘wrong’, consultation with a mental health professional that specialises in (or is familiar with) gastrointestinal conditions can significantly improve your IBS management skillset.