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Why is it important to address emotions in treatment of stomach problems?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
Here is an answer from Robert and Lydia Dorsky, from Healthcare Communications in Short Hills, N.J., who produce educational materials on health and medicine. In their article entitled "The Mind-Gut Connection" they wrote, "When you suffer from stomach problems, your emotions may play an important role in your digestive system's workings. Gastroenterologists have found that, for many patients, treatment for some digestive disorders must be geared toward the emotional as well as the physical aspects of their condition." In the same article, Ray Clouse, M.D., from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis says, "It is unacceptable to simply say that your bowel problem is making you depressed, and so we should just ignore the depression until the bowel problem is fixed. There is often an interaction between emotions, the brain, and the bowels, and this means treating the entire problem, not just the gut."
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

Fast Facts on IBS: One in five people suffers from the frustrating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is no simple answer--no pill, potion, or quick fix--that will cure IBS. But help...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.