IBS: Reducing The Risk of IBS Symptoms

Anxiety Stress and Panic Attacks, Dan's Blog

IBS Symptoms - Hypnotherapy in Ely


IBS: Reducing The Risk of IBS Symptoms

IBS symptoms can be totally frustrating. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS then you’ve probably had all sorts of tests that have ruled everything else out. You may have had to struggle on with your symptoms for month after month and one intrusive test after another only to be told that it’s probably IBS. You may have tried restrictive food regimes to try and work out triggers, and you may know many food triggers, yet there is always the risk of IBS symptoms occurring at other times too.

It can all start to take over your life. I’ve worked with clients who won’t eat before they go out or while out in case their IBS strikes. You may find yourself worrying about where there are toilets and even limiting the places you will go to those you can be sure have adequate and clean toilets. Or maybe you end up cancelling plans because the stress and risk of the embarrassment from an episode is too great. You might be able to recall a few near miss occasions in the past and these loom large in your mind as a warning of future risks.

All this stress and anxiety around the risk of IBS symptoms striking is even before you deal with the discomfort and pain when your IBS is at its worst. I’ve known of sufferers who have to get up early to allow for time on the toilet, who can spend such a long time on the toilet or who have to habitually make many repeat visits to the toilet. All the discomfort, stress, anxiety and worry limits your life and leads to worrying about potential worst case scenarios. And, because stress and anxiety can trigger IBS, you can easily get caught in a loop of worry, discomfort and pain and then more anxiety.

Only recently I was working with an IBS client who would get anxious before going to work and who needed to spend ages sitting on the toilet. There was constant anxiety that the IBS may strike when at work and that disaster would ensue. Another client would look online for toilet information before agreeing to go anywhere with friends and who would worry about going away on holiday.

The positive news is that hypnotherapy has a strong evidence base for helping with both the IBS symptoms themselves, and the anxiety and stress that goes with IBS. IBS can’t be cured but you can manage it effectively in a way where you are able to be happy and enjoy life. You can reduce the stress and anxiety about the risk of IBS symptoms arising that can contribute to a greater likelihood of that then happening.

And some recent research has also investigated the association between certain healthy lifestyle behaviours and the incidence of IBS.

I’ve covered IBS in these previous articles that you might like to explore:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket

Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Evidence for the Effectiveness Of IBS Hypnosis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Anxiety Disorders – Hypnotherapy in Ely

Anxiety and Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket


Reducing The Risk of IBS Symptoms

Any effective IBS management plan involves reducing the stress and anxiety that can contribute to your symptoms occurring. Feeling and being calmer reduces the likelihood of IBS symptoms impacting and reduces one of the most common triggers for an episode.

And, as mentioned, there is now research that has looked into the link between certain health lifestyle behaviours and the incidence of IBS  (Ho FFSun HZheng H, et al., 2024).

The research investigated five healthy lifestyle behaviours, never smoking, optimal sleep, high level of vigorous physical activity, high dietary quality and moderate alcohol intake, and the incidence of IBS.

They found that never smoking, a high level of vigorous physical activity and optimal sleep demonstrated significant independent inverse associations with IBS incidence. Adhering to a higher number of healthy lifestyle behaviours is significantly associated with a lower incidence of IBS.

It may seem like some of this is obvious but that doesn’t mean you are actually necessarily prioritising these things in practice to help manage your IBS. And it is always beneficial to have the evidence to support what you think rather than just assuming it to be the case.

If you have IBS and smoke then I would suspect that nicotine either irritates your stomach or, as nicotine adds to stress levels, then the impact of stress is paramount. And it is very possible that high activity levels and quality sleep also help with reducing anxiety and stress and support being both mentally and physically calmer. In contrast, sedentary behaviour can have all sorts of adverse physical impacts, and let’s face it, everything seems harder when you are lacking sleep and you are tired.

To reduce the risk of IBS symptoms, everything points towards reducing stress and adhering to these healthy lifestyle behaviours. If you struggle with any of these then hypnotherapy can help you. Hypnotherapy can help with quitting smoking, stress and anxiety relief, being in control over eating habits, exercise motivation, control over alcohol habits and improved sleep. All good stuff if you are an IBS sufferer and want to increase the management of your condition so that you can feel more calm, confident and in control over your symptoms and over your life.

To your health and happiness, 

Dan Regan

Award Winning Hypnotherapy for Anxiety Ely & Newmarket


Struggling with anxiety, stress, worry and fear and need some help? Find out how I can help with a Complimentary Hypnotherapy Strategy Session. Learn more here: Appointments

Find out what dozens of other people have said after their anxiety hypnotherapy sessions with Dan: Hypnotherapy Testimonials

And check out these powerful hypnosis downloads that can start helping you right away to tackle anxiety, boost confidence and more: Hypnosis Downloads


Reference: Ho FFSun HZheng H, et al. Association of healthy lifestyle behaviours with incident irritable bowel syndrome: a large population-based prospective cohort study.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Claim your FREE Consultation TODAY

Just call 01353 886158 to book your free 30 minute consultation. Discover how you can start feeling better quickly and effectively and ask any questions you may have before deciding to go ahead.

Call Dan today!

Get Your Copy Right Now…

Subscribe to Dan’s Digest filled with tips, strategies and techniques and get instant access to your free rapid relaxation hypnosis audio track.

Enjoy feeling and being more mentally calm and physically relaxed right now:

Rapid Relaxation hypnosis mp3 dan regan hypnotherapy

Dan in the spotlight!

Click below to see Dan in the media

Hypnosis Downloads

Powerful hypnosis for download that will help you to overcome issues and achieve your goals. 

Hypnotherapy Video Testimonials 

Click below to see dozens of videos from happy clients who have worked with Dan:

Copy of YouTube Channel Art Untitled Design

Copy of YouTube Channel Art Untitled Design