Tag Archives: Allergy UK

Hypnotherapy ‘can help’ IBS

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Greater use of hypnotherapy to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome would help sufferers and might save money, says a gastroenterologist.

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Dr Roland Valori, editor of Frontline Gastroenterology, said of the first 100 of his patients treated, symptoms improved significantly for nine in 10.

He said that although previous research has shown hypnotherapy is effective for IBS sufferers, it is not widely used.

This may be because doctors simply do not believe it works.

Widely ignored
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gut problem which can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and sometimes diarrhoea or constipation.

Dr Valori, of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, said the research evidence which shows that hypnotherapy could help sufferers of IBS was first published in the 1980s.

He thinks it has been widely ignored because many doctors find it hard to believe that it does work, or to comprehend how it could work.

“It is pretty clear to me that it has an amazing effect”

Dr Roland Valori, editor of Frontline Gastroenterology
He began referring IBS patients for hypnotherapy in the early 1990s and has found it to be highly effective.

“To be frank, I have never looked back,” he said.

He audited the first 100 cases he referred for hypnotherapy and found that the symptoms stopped completely in four in ten cases with typical IBS.

He says in a further five in 10 cases patients reported feeling more in control of their symptoms and were therefore much less troubled by them.

“It is pretty clear to me that it has an amazing effect,” he said.

“It seems to work particularly well on younger female patients with typical symptoms, and those who have only had IBS for a relatively short time.”

Powerful effect:-

He believes that it could work partly by helping to relax patients.

“Of the relaxation therapies available, hypnotherapy is the most powerful,” he said.

He also says that IBS patients often face difficult situations in their lives, and hypnotherapy can help them respond to these stresses in a less harmful way.

NHS guidelines allow doctors to refer IBS patients for hypnotherapy or other psychological therapies if medication is unsuccessful and the problem persists.

Dr Valori thinks that if hypnotherapy were used more widely it could possibly save the NHS money while improving patient care.

Dr Charlie Murray, Secretary of the British Gastroenterology Society, said: “There is no doubt that hypnotherapy is helpful for some patients, but it depends on the skill and experience of those practising it.

“But the degree to which it is effective is not well defined.

“I would support using it as one therapy, but it is no panacea.”

You may click & see also:-
Hypnosis has ‘real’ brain effect
Children can ‘imagine away’ pain
Soluble fibre ‘effective for IBS’
Frontline Gastroenterology

Source  : BBC News: 18th. March, 2010

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Hay Fever: Beat the Sneeze

Hay fever sufferers face a really bad summer. Lucy Atkins offers advice.

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This summer’s pollen forecast is one of the worst ever, meaning that about one in four of us can expect to slip into a wheezing fug any minute.

Experts say that we are surprisingly inept at managing our symptoms. Many of us do not understand our hay fever triggers and take inappropriate medications. Others throw away money on alternative “remedies” that do not work.

Simply popping a pill when symptoms get out of hand is not the best approach.

“People don’t realise you have to take the right dose at the right time in order to keep levels of the drug high in your system,” says Maureen Jenkins, allergy nurse and spokeswoman for Allergy UK.

“Otherwise it just won’t work.”

Antihistamine nasal sprays can stop your nose running, nasal steroid sprays can unbung you and sprays containing a drug called sodium cromoglicate, a “mast cell stabiliser”, can stop white blood cells from releasing histamine, which causes the sneezing and itching.

But Jenkins says that “many people have no idea how to use these sprays properly.” It is no good just stuffing the product up your nose – a good spraying technique is vital (see below). It is also important to follow dosage instructions.

The sodium cromoglicate spray, for instance, will only work if you start to use it two weeks before your allergy begins, then keep using it four times a day. Many other medications work best if you start to use them before your allergies kick in, allowing the drug to build up in your system. To do this you have to know your triggers.

Though there are many pollen allergens, birch and grass are the most common. These two are usually released in different months, but experts say that this summer, perhaps because of climate change, they are likely to overlap. According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, more than 5million of us could be taking inappropriate medicines because we have misdiagnosed our allergies.

Talking to your pharmacist before buying medicines is the first step to a sniffle-free summer. In addition, Allergy UK has just started an “accredited pharmacy allergy screening service” in association with the National Pharmacy Association. At these centres Allergy UK-trained pharmacists can diagnose triggers then recommend the right over-the-counter medications for your specific allergy type.

They can also refer you to a GP with details of the nearest appropriate allergy specialist. GPs are a good source of help if you are a severe sufferer. Several effective antihistamines can be obtained only on prescription and some people may be suitable for a newly developed kind of immunotherapy, where you either dissolve tablets under the tongue or have regular injections.

Those who want to avoid medication may turn to anything from fish oils to Reishi mushrooms as miracle hay fever cures. But there is no clinical evidence that nutritional supplements or dietary changes work on hay fever symptoms (although the herb butterbur has shown promise in clinical trials).

Acupuncture has had mixed success in trials. Daniel Maxwell of the British Acupuncture Council, says: “It’s great for hay fever because of the significant effect it has on modulating the immune system.”

Homeopathic treatments have also shown some promising clinical results, though more trials are needed. In other words, although you can’t avoid this year’s pollen onslaught, you may be more empowered than you think to defend yourself against it.

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Sources:Telegraph.co.uk

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