While medication is often the only way to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a group of American researchers have found that simple behavioral therapy could be all that is needed to treat the condition in some patients.
Some of the leading symptoms of IBS include bouts of abdominal cramps, bloating and changes in bowel habits including diarrhea and constipation. Existing therapies are palliative only and there is a need for new therapies that improve the condition.
Now researchers examined the impact of behavioral therapy on IBS. They recruited 75 people diagnosed with IBS for this study. Among them half received 10 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy on a weekly basis, while others received 4 sessions spread over 10 weeks.
The researchers reported that within 4 weeks 30% of patients reported relief in symptoms. The study also found that self-monitoring helped many patients identify their symptoms quickly.