Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Brain-Gut Axis...Part 2

I found this page today while doing a little browsing “Five Hot Topics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research”. If you take a look at number 4, it says “The Brain-Gut Axis”. This is the same thing as the Mind-Gut Connection I talked about in an earlier post. While I was very happy to see that this is one of the “hot topics” in IBD research, I was a bit surprised. I can’t tell you how many GI doctors, nurses, other medical professionals I have contacted to tell them about the importance of looking at the psychological effects of IBD as well as the importance of preparing patients psychologically for surgery. I’ve told them about the services I offer, in terms of counseling, speaking and support groups. While some of these doctors understand the importance of the psychological component to these illnesses, it seems that most of them either don’t understand, don’t believe in it, or don’t want to take the time out of their busy schedules to learn about how psychological help may benefit their clients.

I believe there is truth to this “Brain-Gut Axis” and I think it needs to be taken more seriously in the medical community and that it needs to be mentioned to patients. Referrals need to be offered if needed. After all, how would patients, especially new patients, have any idea how much their psychological state could affect their disease course or management. I guess my question is, how can we make this a regular part of IBD treatment? Any ideas would be welcomed.