A revolutionary approach to handling today’s most prevalent gastrointestinal disorder. IBS is often linked to stress, but the vast majority of treatments focus only on restrictive diets. By contrast, this book addresses the emotional component of the disorder through new research based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It actually encourages people to change the way they think about the ailment and stop avoiding situations they fear might exacerbate their symptoms. Tested in a unique randomized controlled trial by the author—who is a clinical psychologist and scientist—this program, based on a solid scientific foundation, offers new hope for IBS sufferers hoping to reclaim their life.
Booklist — As a clinical psychologist, not a nutritionist, Hunt rightly sticks to her expertise and looks at changing behavior and thoughts, rather than diet, to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic condition that causes such problems as abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. She spells out why and how an optimistic, can-do approach can help relieve stress. Instead of feeling sad or angry after a bad haircut, for example, she suggests a “benign alternative,” such as thinking, “Maybe I didn’t explain what I wanted very well.” She also likes “exposure therapy,” sensitizing a sufferer to tricky situations he or she would like to avoid, such as a long car ride. As she explains, IBS shares symptoms with gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, celiac, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and intestinal parasites. (Pet owners, take note: she says that people who come into contact with dogs and cats may want to get checked for hookworms.) A book full of practical ideas aimed at helping sufferers deal with psychological problems that can aggravate their irritable bowel syndrome.
Melissa G. Hunt, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the Associate Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the top clinical science training programs in the country. She...