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Mind-Body Therapy Proves Its Worth in Functional GI Disease - Medscape

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Mind-Body Therapy Proves Its Worth in Functional GI Disease  Medscape

Mental health conditions are increasingly common and can act as a trigger for disorders of the gut-brain axis (GBA), which are also being diagnosed in greater numbers in recent years.

An important reminder of the overlapping role between these disorders was offered by a recent internet survey.

Using Rome IV criteria, investigators queried 54,127 adult participants (49.1% female; mean age, 44.3 years) from 26 countries worldwide. They determined that an astounding 37.5% of responders showed clinically relevant psychological distress and/or somatic symptom severity. These responders also had a 4.45-fold increase in risk of having disorders of the GBA vs those without somatic symptoms or psychological distress.

In the United States, the two most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders of the GBA are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional dyspepsia.

Mind-body directed therapies ("mindfulness") for IBS and functional dyspepsia have been shown to be effective and durable. They include gut-directed hypnotherapy (GDH), relaxation techniques (eg, yoga or tai chi), behavioral therapy, and/or psychotherapy.

These alternative methods have not yet been widely adopted among gastroenterologists despite promising evidence. This might begin to change, however, with the publication of two new studies highlighting the use of mindfulness approaches for IBS and functional dyspepsia.

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