Research Supporting Biopsychosocial Interventions for IBS

This September, an article from the Journal of Gastrointestinal Liver Disease, highlighted psychological interventions for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It was shown that two psychological factors are predominantly associated with severity of IBS symptoms, namely, catastrophizing and somatization. The study addressed how both of these tendencies can be affected by life trauma and stress as well as anxiety and depression, however the findings demonstrated that catastrophizing and somatization were the factors which coincided most strongly with symptom severity and which psychological intervention was studied.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and gut directed hypnotherapy were both reviewed and shown to be effective interventions for decreasing symptom severity in both the short term and long term. The overarching conclusion of this research is that psychological interventions should be considered in cases of IBS which are resistant or refractory to treatment.

This is wonderful news for the naturopathic profession; one more research study to support a holistic approach to functional disorder. A supportive study for billing and coding for IBS while working with clients’ and patients’ mental health


email-photoNode Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision. 

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