Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system.

It affects everyone differently and can have a negative impact on the quality of life including work, family, friends and social events.

Who does IBS affect?

IBS affects up to 1 in 5 people in the UK at some point in their life, so if you experience symptoms you are not alone! It is around twice as common in women as in men and usually develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years old1 but can flare up throughout life.

How is it diagnosed?

Because symptoms vary from person to person, IBS can be difficult to diagnose, but don’t let this put you off from seeking help if you are in any discomfort.

Although there is no specific test to accurately diagnose IBS, there are symptoms that you can look out for such as abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation and excessive wind.

Read more about IBS symptoms and causes here. No one should suffer in silence! If you are concerned about any gut discomfort or symptoms associated with IBS and have not previously been diagnosed, then speak to a GP or pharmacist to discuss this further.

IBS & Counselling

Counseling and psychological therapy have proven to be helpful in the treatment of irritable bowel

syndrome (IBS) because they elevate overall well-being.1 Many studies demonstrate an increase in

negative moods in people suffering from gastrointestinal and pain conditions, such as IBS, but it is

unknown whether the psychological factors influence IBS or if they are a result of dealing with disrupted

life activities and frequent painful and distressing symptoms.

People with IBS may also experience anxiety specific to their gastrointestinal events or symptoms, for example, fear and anxiety around meals, or when experiencing abdominal pain or diarrhea. This is called GI symptom-specific anxiety, and these patients can benefit from psychological treatment, including cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis.


Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy in which a mental health professional helps the patient identify thought patterns that are negative or erroneous and create more effective ways to view challenging situations. It generally requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy. CBT can be an effective tool for anyone to learn how to better manage stress and address emotional challenges.


It can help a patient in a variety of ways, including:

  • Learning techniques for coping with stressful life situations

  • Identifying ways to manage emotions

  • Resolving conflicts in relationships

  • Coping with grief or loss

  • Learning better ways to communicate

  • Managing chronic physical symptoms

CBT is a structured therapy that usually includes a step-wise approach:

  • Identifying troubling situations or conditions

  • Becoming aware of thoughts, emotions and behaviors

  • Identifying negative or inaccurate thinking

  • Reshaping negative or inaccurate thinking 3

Whatever your family trouble or concern, North Oak can help you. I can work with an individual or more than one person  to support you in your journey back to a healthy life.

Just remember North Oak offers trained, experienced and confidential  Counselling, Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy. I am here for you in your time of need and to help you make the right choices. Should you need any more information or would like to book an appointment please click the link or send a message using the form below. I am also more than happy to receive your texts, emails or telephone calls... whichever is easier for you.


Richard Mill

North Oak

13 Priesthorpe Road







Tel: 0113 256 1374

Mob: 07515 673 103

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