There is a strong connection between anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. One of the problems with stress and anxiety is that you can develop physical problems or ailments. And often, symptoms can be made worse by emotional distress.
For instance, we know that anxiety can cause persistent and painful headaches. Moreover, gastrointestinal problems are often linked to anxiety and stress as well. In fact, you may remember being a little nauseous or having a stomachache yourself when feeling stressed.
However, stressful situations can also bring about massive intestinal upset. For instance, an extreme example of how anxiety and stress can affect your gastrointestinal health is irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
Neurofeedback therapy can actually offer an alternative to more traditional treatments for the stress and anxiety that often goes with IBS. How so?
Let’s take a closer look at the connection between anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome, and how neurofeedback could help you find relief.
Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a medical condition that causes you to experience pain and discomfort in your large intestine. Symptoms of IBS include:
- Abdominal pain
There are several reasons why you might develop irritable bowel syndrome. An infection could lead to IBS, or changes in your gut bacteria—what’s often called the microflora. As well as other physical issues.
However, there are also non-physical issues that can worsen IBS, such as stress and anxiety. Although anxiety’s often considered a mental health issue, it can also lead to physical problems.
Treating Anxiety and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are many things that help to treat the physical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Eating a bland diet and avoiding foods that can upset your stomach is one idea. It’s also recommended to eat foods that have a lot of fiber and to stay hydrated. Plus, changing your lifestyle and addressing factors that might be causing stress helps.
Moreover, often physicians prescribe medications for both physical symptoms of IBS and anxiety. But perhaps you’re looking for an alternative that doesn’t require drugs? The answer might lie with neurofeedback treatment.
How Neurofeedback Therapy Helps with IBS
The fact is that your anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome are probably connected. Whatever it is that’s triggering your anxiety could also be aggravating your IBS. We’re talking about something more than having one stressful day at work. Rather, it’s chronic stress and anxiety experienced over time that is the culprit.
Take a moment to think about anything in your life that is causing chronic stress. If you can’t off the top of your head, then maybe it’s time to bring in a therapist to dig deeper. And this is where neurofeedback comes into the picture. A neurofeedback therapist who understands the connection between toxic stress, anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrome, can provide a unique perspective and help you find the underlying cause.
Neurofeedback treatment can not only help you get to the root of the problem but also make positive changes. It is a treatment method that gives you the opportunity to see your brain activity as it appears in real-time. Sensors that are attached to your head lead to a readout where you can see your brain activity as it is occurring.
Why is this helpful?
Receiving neurofeedback allows you to observe how your brain is responding to stress and anxiety. With this information, your therapist can help you to retrain your brain.
You can develop the skills needed so that when you do start to feel anxious, you can use coping tools to tell your brain to do something different. Instead of the anxiety reaching a crisis level, you can stay calm. As you further improve on these skills, you will feel less anxious and much calmer over time.
With decreasing anxiety, coping with your IBS can become easier. A calmer body and more even keeled mind can also help to reduce the severity of your symptoms and improve your bodies ability to recover.
Neurofeedback therapy can certainly be helpful in with anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. If you are struggling with stress and anxiety and are noticing problems with your physical health—such as IBS—take action.
Please, feel free to contact me for more information. I’m a trained neurofeedback therapist, and I’d like to help you overcome your anxiety and stress.