Thursday, November 3, 2011

Irritable Bowel Syndrome a Common Mental Health Issue

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be the result of psychological and emotional traumas in many patients, researchers from the Mayo Clinic reported at the American College of Gastroenterology's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. this week. Childhood and adult traumas are more common among adults with IBS, and general life traumas were more commonly reported than were physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

"While stress has been linked to IBS, and childhood abuse has been reported to be present in up to 50 percent of patients with IBS, at a prevalence twice that of patients without IBS, most studies of abuse have focused on sexual abuse with sparse detail and also have not looked at other forms of psychological trauma," said Yuri Saito-Loftus, M.D., who presented the findings. "This is the first study that looks at multiple forms of trauma, the time of those traumas, and traumas in a family setting."

Stress and anxiety also characterize patients who develop IBS after a bout of viral or bacterial gastroenteritis. Read more about this topic in Psychiatric News.

(Image: Sebastian Kaulitzki/


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