Irritable Bowel Syndrome linked to emotional shocks

A recent study says that the Irritable Bowel Syndrome is linked to emotional shocks that a person can go through in life, ScienceDaily reports. According to the findings, psychological traumas resulted from the death of a dear one, a divorce, the effects of a natural disaster, several types of abuse – all these are factors that can make someone more prone to develop the disease.

Mayo Clinic researchers presented a study called “A Case-Control Study of Childhood and Adult Trauma in the Development of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS),” at the Annual Scientific meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology’s, which took place in Washington, DC in late October. The study was led on 2623 volunteers. The results of the study showed that among patients with IBS, the majority reported having had to deal with traumatic events in their lives, prior to the diagnosis. Of these, general life traumas, like deaths, divorces, break-ups, were more common than sexual or emotional abuse.

Dr. Yuri Saito-Loftus, who presented the study, said that even though IBS has previously been linked to stress and childhood abuse – in 50% of the cases, which is double the percent of those who suffered such traumas, but did not have IBS – “most studies of abuse have focused on sexual abuse with sparse detail and also have not looked at other forms of psychological trauma.” This latest study is the first to concentrate on “multiple forms of trauma, the timing of those traumas, and traumas in a family setting.”

In the United States, 5 to 7 percent of the population is diagnosed with IBS, even though it is estimated that up to 10% suffers from the related symptoms. IBS is a chronic disorder that affects the digestive system, manifesting through abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation, diarrhea. Basically, the motility of the bowel is affected, which leads to all the discomfort. Dr. Saito-Loftus explains that the motility of the bowel is influenced by the brain, which deals with the information received from the outside world. The latest study showed that patients with IBS experience or report traumas at a level higher than patients without IBS.

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