Recent Posts by cris matsunaga

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Treatments


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Stress and Anxiety

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


  • 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 is influenced by stress. Stress management can alleviate and help prevent IBS...
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Overcoming Health Anxiety/Hypochondriasis


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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