Navigation Links
Mindful Meditation Might Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Date:5/9/2011

By Ellin Holohan
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- A simple meditation technique can help ease the torment suffered by people with a chronic bowel disease, a new study has found.

The research, done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that women with irritable bowel syndrome who practiced "mindful meditation" had more than a 38 percent reduction in symptoms, far surpassing a nearly 12 percent reduction for women who participated in a traditional support group.

Moreover, meditation helped reduce psychological distress and improved quality of life, the study found.

One of the study authors said the practice, based on a Buddhist meditative technique, "empowers" patients to deal with an illness that is difficult to treat.

"It's not easy to treat IBS [irritable bowel syndrome], even with the best standard medical approaches," said study co-author Olafur Palsson, an associate professor, clinical psychologist and research in the gastroenterolgoy department at the university. "It's chronic and, over time, it's hard to treat because it is complicated."

Mindful meditation helps practitioners relax by focusing on the moment, paying attention to breathing, the body and thoughts as they occur, without judgment.

"It's a different way of using the mind and being aware," said Palsson. He noted that more than 200 hospitals around the country offer the mindfulness meditation training program.

The technique takes discipline to learn, but "becomes second nature after a while," said Palsson, adding, "this is not a clinical treatment, it's more educational."

The findings were to be presented Saturday at Digestive Disease Week meeting in Chicago. Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary because it has not been subjected to the scrutiny that typically accompanies publication in medical journals. In addition, the number of participants in the new study was small, and the findings need to be confirmed in larger studies.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common chronic illness that can start as early as adolescence and become a lifelong condition. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea and constipation. Cases range from mild to severe. It differs from inflammatory bowel disease, a more serious condition with a similar name.

In the United States, the disease is more common in women and about one in six people has the condition, according to the National Institutes of Health. The condition is believed to stem from a genetic predisposition and is triggered by stress, a gastrointestinal infection or gastrointestinal surgery.

Treatments include anti-spasmodic medications to relax the colon, and drugs to reduce constipation and diarrhea. Patients are advised to avoid drinks and foods that stimulate the intestines, such as alcohol, caffeinated beverages, some grains, chocolate and milk.

But the disease varies from one person to another, and one regimen does not help everyone, according to health officials.

For the study, 75 women between 19 and 71 years old, with an average age of nearly 43 years, were randomly divided into two groups. One group participated in a mindfulness meditation training session and the other in a traditional support group, both for eight weeks.

Ahead of time, the groups rated the treatments' potential benefit, or "credibility," about the same, the study said.

But at the end of eight weeks, the meditation group had a 26.4 percent reduction in "overall severity of symptoms" compared to a 6.2 percent reduction in the support group. By the end of three months, the disparity persisted as improvement increased to a 38.2 percent reduction in symptoms for the meditation group vs. a 11.8 percent reduction for the therapy group, the study found.

The study authors also noted that mindful meditation was inexpensive and widely available.

One expert praised the research results as original and powerful.

"It's a small sample, but I'm impressed. It's not so easy to do this with treatments that are not well-defined," said Dr. Albena Halpert, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at Boston University Medical School. "There have been other studies that looked at psychological treatment options, but this is the first looking at mindfulness, and the results are robust."

Halpert said she was surprised that both groups rated the potential benefit of the treatment option they were to receive equally.

"You can call it the placebo effect or whatever you want, but you have to believe in a treatment for it to work," said Halpert. "It's interesting that people would think it [mindfulness training] would have the same benefit as a support group."

More information

To learn more about mediation, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Olafur Palsson, Psy.D., clinical psychologist, research and associate professor, Division of Gastroenterology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Albena Halpert, gastroenterologist, assistant professor, Boston University Medical School, Boston; May 7, 2011, presentation, Digestive Disease Week, Chicago


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life -- The Definitive Guide to Changing the Way People Eat and Live
2. eMindful Provides a New Twist on Chocolate for Members of Boston's Beacon Hill Village
3. Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in 8 weeks
4. Tired of Snow, Sleet, and Stress? Join Deepak Chopra for a Week-Long Meditation Retreat this March in Florida's Warm Sunshine
5. Transcendental Meditation activates default mode network, the brains natural ground state
6. The American Meditation Institute Hosts Mind-Body Medicine Seminars by Dr. Bernie Siegel, Leonard Perlmutter and Dr. Beth Netter
7. UW Symposium: How Disease, Therapy, Drugs and Meditation Reshape the Brain
8. Guided Meditation Made Available to Everyone for Stress Awareness Month
9. Meditation reduces the emotional impact of pain
10. Meditation Soothes MS Patients
11. Positive psychological changes from meditation training linked to cellular health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mindful Meditation Might Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... “Wilderness Voices”: a collection of ... “Wilderness Voices” is the creation of published author, Martha McKown, an ordained United ... inspired as a very young child when her older sisters studied High School literature. ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... “Covert Awakening”: Walid’s ... of published author, Julianne Hale, a consultant for the Intelligence Community. For ... focusing on the Near East region. Julianne has written hundreds of reports ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... , ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... Stewart is the Founder and Managing Member for t4 Leadership Development & Consulting. ... critical to his definition of “success”: physician leadership development, servant leadership, data driven ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... “Call Of Spiritual Duty”: a revelation in an era defined by intentional ... Growing up on the streets of North Visalia, California, Carlos Lizarde quickly became familiar ... keys to his life, he noticed immediately that opportunities and blessings began to shift ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... PracticeMatch, a company that ... healthcare employers connect with physicians and advanced practitioners like nurse practitioners and ... in August through November of this year. The online career fairs will allow ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2017)... , July 31, 2017 Three Tru-D SmartUVC ... South Korea . Tru-D, short for "Total Room Ultraviolet ... operating rooms after an environmental services (ES) professional cleans the area with ... ... "Although the BAACH ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ... June 30, 2017.  The Company reported second quarter net ... the prior year period, and an increase of 2.1% ... points of contribution from the LDR Holding Corporation acquisition, ... quarter of 2016, or 0.3% on a constant currency ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... , July 26, 2017 Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Company, ... our clinical trial evaluating Altemia TM , an oral ... and Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The SCOT Trial, is ... efficacy and safety of Altemia TM in pediatric ... under US IND 125274. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: