Recent Posts by cris matsunaga

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Treatments

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Stress and Anxiety

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder affecting approximately 1 in 5 Australians.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Diarrhoea and/or constipation
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Mucous present in the faeces
  • Nausea
 

Psychological Disorders Associated With IBS

  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Dysthymia
  • Depression
  Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers may benefit from psychological treatment and stress management as several studies have shown that 70-90% of sufferers who seek treatment have psychological disorders. 1   The relationship between IBS and stress and anxiety is not clearly understood. Stress/anxiety may make the mind more aware of colon spasms. Irritable bowel may be triggered by the immune system, which...
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Overcoming Health Anxiety/Hypochondriasis

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Worrying  Too Much About Health & Physical Symptoms

Health anxiety happens because people catastrophically misinterpret health related information.  e.g. a lump in the breast or testes MUST be cancer, forgetting someone’s name MUST be a symptom of dementia.
(N.B. Of course anyone who finds a lump in their breast or testes should consult their doctor to rule out cancer).
Health anxiety sufferers may become worried by:
  • reading articles or seeing programs about diseases
  • knowing someone who has a disease
  • things they observe about their own body, their physical symptoms, etc.
 

Hypochondriasis / health anxiety can lead to people

  • visiting their doctor far more times a year than is warranted, seeking reassurance about...
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Nutrition & Lifestyle Issues

Anxiety sufferers are advised to pay attention to dietary and lifestyle factors which can aggravate anxiety (Andrews, Creamer, Crino, Hunt, Lampe & Page, 2003). Caffeine Avoid or limit caffeine. Chocolate, some high energy drinks, hot chocolate beverages, coffee, tea & cola drinks all contain caffeine, a stimulant which accelerates the fight or flight response. Caffeine can interfere with your sleep and make you more nervous. Switch to decaffeinated coffee, herbal tea and/or decaffeinated cola drinks, or reduce the number of cups of coffee/cola you have. Alcohol Alcohol can aggravate anxiety. People with anxiety are often tempted to drink alcohol before and/or during social engagements as it initially decreases anxiety. However, after alcohol has been in your system for a...
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Exercise to Decrease Anxiety

Regular physical exercise is a simple and effective means of reducing stress. Physical exercise is the outlet for the body when it’s in the fight or flight state. Exercise releases the natural chemicals — such as adrenalin — that accumulate during stress. Exercise relieves chronic muscle tension, reduces insomnia and decreases depression and anxiety. Exercise also:
  • increases alertness and concentration
  • reduces skeletal muscle tension and helps people to feel more relaxed
  • leads to a more rapid metabolism of excess adrenaline and thyroxin in the bloodstream (i.e. it reduces the hormones which increase arousal)
  • allows people to discharge their frustrations (which can aggravate phobias or panic reactions)
  • helps you to feel good by stimulating the production of endorphins
  • increases your...
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