The researchers believe that the relationship between stress, emotions and how the intestines work shows how the mind and body are connected. They are looking for people who have been diagnosed by their doctor with IBS or chronic constipation to take part in pilot study of a new program developed by researchers at the Centre.
The program has been designed to address the symptoms of these common and often painful conditions. It’s estimated that around 15 per cent of Australians suffer from IBS while anywhere from 6 to 30 per cent of the population are thought to suffer from long-term functional constipation.
“There has been very exciting research in both Sweden and the US which shows gut-specific stress management programs improve gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain and bloating in those with IBS,” said Wee Chong Tan, one of the researchers involved in the trial.
“We are also hopeful this type of program can also be helpful in managing chronic constipation,” he said.
Tan and his colleagues will be testing out the 8-week stress management program for chronic constipation starting at the end of September and are looking to recruit people suffering from either condition. Participants will first be briefly screened over the phone to see if they are eligible for the program. After an initial interview to assess their individual needs, participants undergo the program, which consists of weekly one-hour sessions.