The following is an extract from:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body/Brain-Gut Connection
by William B. Salt II, MD


We know that these conditions are not caused by infection, inflammation, or blockage. In fact, evaluation with X-rays, endoscopy, and blood testing usually fails to show any abnormality. But the symptoms are very real! What is causing them?

1. Disturbances of the normal activity and function of the digestive tract
The normal movement of food contents through the digestive tract depends upon motility, or peristalsis, which is the rhythmic and orderly muscular contraction of the gut. A disturbance in normal motility and peristalsis causes symptoms like cramping abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and relief of pain with the passage of loose bowel movements.

2. Increased sensitivity to what is happening in the gut and abdomen
Many people with irritable bowel syndrome have enhanced sensation and perception of bowel function. They can feel things in their GI tract, chest, abdomen, and rectum that people without irritable bowel syndrome cannot. Doctors call this "disturbed visceral nociception." Another way of looking at this is that patients with irritable bowel syndrome and other functional GI disorders have lower internal pain thresholds for reasons which are not understood.

3. Gut reaction to "triggers"
This sensitive GI tract can have a hyper-reaction to things that activate or "trigger" pain and symptoms. You will learn how to identify, control, and eliminate these triggers in Step 5. Stress and psychosocial problems are not only triggers, but are also integrated into the Mind-Body/Brain-Gut Connection.


TABLE 1 Gut Triggers
Dietary Substances
Inflammation and Infection
Drugs and Medications
Seasonal Changes
Psychological Problems

4. Problems related to the Brain-Gut Connection
The Mind-Body/Brain-Gut Connection is the key to understanding these disorders and to the healing process, and you will study it throughout the book. There is a powerful "connection" between the mind and the body/gut. Gut sensations reach the brain through the circuitry of nerves in the wall of the intestine, then to the spinal cord, and finally the brain. Transmission is bi-directional: it is a two-way street. The gut affects the brain, and the brain affects the gut

Irritable Bowel Syndrome & The
Mind-Body/Brain-Gut Connection
by William B. Salt II, MD
ISBN: 0965703894
Paperback / 304 Pages

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body/Brain-Gut Connection

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