Studies have shown that IBS is worse when we are stressed or when we are in a heightened emotional state.  This is because chemicals such as Corticotropin-releasing hormone are released in our body when we enter a fight-or-flight response.

Our gut responds to these chemicals and changes the transit speed in our gut.  Slow down transit speed and you could become constipated.  Increase transit speed and you’re dealing with diarrhoea because there hasn’t been enough time to remove all the nutrients and fluid from your partly broken down food.  It might not feel like it at the time but this is a good thing when you need to eject an infection.

There is also a link between our brain and our gut that is stimulated or relaxed based on what we are thinking or feeling.  These changes can create an inflammatory state, or affect our gut feels, the speed at which substances move through our gut, and the secretion of gastric juices.  As all of these things are related to a heightened emotional state, the antidote rests with our ability to relax.

This creative visualisation exercise will help you to relax.  Find a comfortable space where you will not be interrupted.  Take the phone off the hook. Press play and relax.

Press Play