Psychotherapy May Have Lasting Benefits for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
An article in the New York Times by Nicholas Bakalar highlighted the findings of a recent medical article about psychotherapy in IBS. The publication was published in a major GI journal, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. What is important about this article? Various forms of psychotherapy including psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy were all beneficial in reducing IBS symptoms. (read more)

IBS and Diagnostic Procedures

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
At the MBDC, we gave become concerned about the number of unnecessary procedures performed on patients with IBS. Most patients seen at our Center have been under the care of other gastroenterologists. One of the questions we ask them to describe is the diagnostic procedures they have had. This includes colonoscopy, gastroscopy, capsule endoscopy of the small intestine and CT scan of the abdomen. (read more)

Mindfulness Meditation and IBS

By Mary-Joan Gerson, Ph.D.
Psychological interventions have proved to be successful treatments for IBS, by reducing both bowel symptoms and associated psychological symptoms and are often more effective than usual medical care. Psychological treatments may work, at least in part, by helping to regulate mind-body interactions. Recently, a study of “mindfulness,” a mind-calming Buddhist practice founded over 2500 years ago, was shown to help improve the lives of women suffering from IBS. (read more)

Is there a relationship between early childhood trauma and Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
Over the past 20 years, a number of articles have reported that people who suffer traumatic experience in childhood, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse, suffer negative health effects in adulthood.… (read more)

Patient Reported Outcomes

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) is a new trend in patient care in which patients track their own illness to help better understand illness progress. MBDC has recently instituted a personalized… (read more)

How Satisfied are IBS Patients with their Physician Visits?

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
A recent research article described a new questionnaire designed to measure the level of IBS patient satisfaction with visits to their physician. What was the main reason for patient dissatisfaction? (read more)

A History of Abuse in Nicaragua is Associated with an Increased Incidence of IBS

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
A recent research study in Nicaragua, with the participation of 1000 women, showed very clearly that a history of abuse (physical and sexual) was associated with an increased frequency of… (read more)

Physical Exercise Helps IBS!

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
While physical exercise is recommended to everyone as an important health habit with both physical and mental benefits, it is difficult to find proof of those benefits. In a recent… (read more)

How Patients Lose When Psychologists Are Not Involved in Medical Care

By Mary-Joan Gerson, Ph.D. and Tamara McClintock Greenberg, Psy.D., M.S.
Health care costs are exploding and one silent factor in containing costs is rarely mentioned: the under-utilization of psychological services. The evidence is clear and has been for three decades. (read more)

Be Your Own Investigator

By Mary-Joan Gerson, Ph.D.
When I see patients in my office for consultation, one of the most important concepts I try to convey is that every patient has to become his or her own… (read more)

The Placebo Effect and IBS

By Dr. Charles D. Gerson
Placebo treatment has won new respect in the medical literature, and recently, its story has became even more complicated. (read more)

How Am I Doing?

By Charles Gerson, M.D.
This is a question that IBS patients should be asking themselves, but it may be hard for them to get a yardstick by which to measure their progress. (read more)

When Should an IBS Patient Be Referred to a Mental Health Professional?

By Mary-Joan Gerson, Ph.D.
Many IBS patients do not improve significantly despite the best efforts of their physicians. This is not the fault of the doctor. IBS is a complex illness; physical symptoms can… (read more)

A Bhutanese Journey

By Mary-Joan Gerson, Ph.D.
In October 2010, Drs. Charles and Mary-Joan Gerson visited Bhutan, the last surviving Buddhist Himalayan kingdom. Our experience there underlined our belief in mind-body connections. We were struck by the… (read more)

Knowledge is Power

By Dr. Charles Gerson
One of the things we notice with our IBS patients at the MBDC is that they may start to feel better just from gaining a better understanding of their condition.… (read more)

Hypnotherapy and Imagery

By Mary-Joan Gerson, Ph.D.
At the Mind-Body Digestive Center, we have found that our group hypnotherapy program has been very successful in reducing IBS symptoms in our patients. This blog entry describes a recent… (read more)

Why can’t doctors and patients understand each other?

By Dr. Charles Gerson
Research demonstrates a serious communication gap between patients with functional GI illness like IBS and their physicians who tend to underestimate how much patients are suffering. (read more)