Gut-focused hypnotherapy normalizes disordered rectal sensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

R. Lea, L. A. Houghton, E. L. Calvert, S. Larder, W. M. Gonsalkorale, V. Whelan, J. Randles, P. Cooper, P. Cruickshanks, V. Miller, P. J. Whorwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: We have previously shown that hypnotherapy alters rectal sensitivity in some patients with irritable bowel syndrome. However, this previous study used incremental volume distension of a latex balloon, which might be susceptible to subject response bias and might compromise the assessment of compliance. In addition, the study group was symptomatically rather than physiologically defined. Aim: To assess the effect of hypnotherapy on rectal sensitivity in hypersensitive, hyposensitive and normally sensitive irritable bowel syndrome patients using a distension technique (barostat) that addresses these technical issues. Methods: Twenty-three irritable bowel syndrome (Rome I) patients (aged 24-72 years) were assessed before and after 12 weeks of hypnotherapy in terms of rectal sensitivity, symptomatology, anxiety and depression. Normal values for sensitivity were established in 17 healthy volunteers (aged 20-55 years). Results: Compared with controls, 10 patients were hypersensitive, seven hyposensitive and six normally sensitive before treatment. Following hypnotherapy, the mean pain sensory threshold increased in the hypersensitive group (P = 0.04) and decreased in the hyposensitive group, although the latter failed to reach statistical significance (P = 0.19). Normal sensory perception was unchanged. Sensory improvement in the hypersensitive patients tended to correlate with a reduction in abdominal pain (r = 0.714, P = 0.07). Conclusion: Hypnotherapy improves abnormal sensory perception in irritable bowel syndrome, leaving normal sensation unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Hypnosis
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Sensory Thresholds
Pain Threshold
Latex
Abdominal Pain
Compliance
Healthy Volunteers
Reference Values
Anxiety
Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Lea, R., Houghton, L. A., Calvert, E. L., Larder, S., Gonsalkorale, W. M., Whelan, V., ... Whorwell, P. J. (2003). Gut-focused hypnotherapy normalizes disordered rectal sensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 17(5), 635-642. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2036.2003.01486.x

Gut-focused hypnotherapy normalizes disordered rectal sensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. / Lea, R.; Houghton, L. A.; Calvert, E. L.; Larder, S.; Gonsalkorale, W. M.; Whelan, V.; Randles, J.; Cooper, P.; Cruickshanks, P.; Miller, V.; Whorwell, P. J.

In: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Vol. 17, No. 5, 01.03.2003, p. 635-642.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lea, R, Houghton, LA, Calvert, EL, Larder, S, Gonsalkorale, WM, Whelan, V, Randles, J, Cooper, P, Cruickshanks, P, Miller, V & Whorwell, PJ 2003, 'Gut-focused hypnotherapy normalizes disordered rectal sensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome', Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 635-642. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2036.2003.01486.x
Lea, R. ; Houghton, L. A. ; Calvert, E. L. ; Larder, S. ; Gonsalkorale, W. M. ; Whelan, V. ; Randles, J. ; Cooper, P. ; Cruickshanks, P. ; Miller, V. ; Whorwell, P. J. / Gut-focused hypnotherapy normalizes disordered rectal sensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. In: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2003 ; Vol. 17, No. 5. pp. 635-642.
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