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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Health Center

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Other Treatment

A wide range of other treatments can be used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Psychological treatment

Some kinds of psychological treatment may help with IBS symptoms. These treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and hypnosis.6

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Stopping negative thoughts with CBT has been shown to help with IBS symptoms.6
    • People who practiced thinking positively using CBT reduced their IBS symptoms, anxiety, and negative thoughts and improved their quality of life compared to people who practiced stress management exercises.7
    • In another study that compared mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to a support group, people who practiced MBSR had a much greater reduction in their IBS symptoms, even 3 months after the study ended.8
  • Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy and psychological therapy have been shown to help people who have IBS more than doing nothing.6
  • Hypnosis. Hypnosis has also been shown to help with IBS symptoms.6

Other psychological treatments that are sometimes used for IBS include relaxation therapy, meditation, and biofeedback.

People who have IBS are more likely than people without the condition to have depression, panic disorder, or other psychological conditions.1 Acknowledging these factors may help you and your doctor successfully manage your condition.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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