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When should you talk to your doctor about stress and irritable bowel syndrome?

ANSWER

If you’re tense and anxious, talk with your doctor. Make sure you're getting the right medical treatment for your constipation or diarrhea. Then discuss whether talk therapy might help.

People with irritable bowel syndrome "should really start with their primary care physician, and work with that person," says Edward Blanchard, PhD, professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. "They should only go the next step [psychological care] if what they're doing with their doctor is not working."

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." 

Janine Blackman, MD, PhD, former medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine, adjunct professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, founder of RiverSoul Wellness in Bethesda, MD.

Jonathan Gilbert, who has a diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). 

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." 

WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." 

University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter. 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis" and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Jaydeep Bhat on February 14, 2019

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." 

Janine Blackman, MD, PhD, former medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine, adjunct professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, founder of RiverSoul Wellness in Bethesda, MD.

Jonathan Gilbert, who has a diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). 

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." 

WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." 

University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter. 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis" and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Jaydeep Bhat on February 14, 2019

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