Effects of fasting therapy on irritable bowel syndrome
- 343 Downloads
How to treat patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who do not respond to pharmacotherapy is an unsolved problem. Psychotherapy, which has been reported on in previous studies, is available only in specific centers. We describe in this study a novel and simple psychotherapy; that is, the fasting therapy (FT) for treatment of patients with IBS. Of 84 inpatients with IBS, 58 patients who still had moderate to severe IBS symptoms after 4-week basic treatment were investigated retrospectively. Of the 58 patients enrolled in this study, 36 underwent FT, whereas the remaining 22 received a consecutive basic treatment (control therapy). There were no significant differences in the 4-point severity scales of gastrointestinal and psychological symptoms between the 2 groups before the start of FT. The basic treatment consisted of pharmacotherapy and brief psychotherapy, whereas the FT consisted of 10 days of starvation followed by 5 days of refeeding. Changes in scores of symptoms before and after each treatment were analyzed. FT significantly improved 7 out of the 10 symptoms assessed; that is, abdominal pain-discomfort (p < .001), abdominal distension (p < .001), diarrhea (p < .001), anorexia (p = .02), nausea (p < .01), anxiety (p < .001), and interference with life in general (p < .001). However, the control therapy significantly improved only 3 out of the 10 symptoms assessed; that is, abdominal pain-discomfort (p = .03), abdominal distension (p < .01), and interference with life (p = .01). Our results suggest that FT may have beneficial effects on intractable patients with IBS.
Key wordsirritable bowel syndrome fasting therapy psychotherapy starvation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., Rev. ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Bennet, P., & Wilkinson, S. (1985). A comparison of psychological and medical treatment in the irritable bowel syndrome. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 24, 215–216.Google Scholar
- Kanazawa, M., Endo, Y., Whitehead, W. E., Kano, M., Hongo, M., & Fukudo, S. (2004). Patients and nonconsulters with irritable bowel syndrome reporting a parental history of bowel problems have more impaired psychological distress. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 49, 1046–1053.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kano, M., Fukudo, S., Kanazawa, M., Endo, Y., Narita, H., Tamura, D., et al. (2006). Changes in intestinal motility, visceral sensitivity and minor mucosal inflammation after fasting therapy in a patient with irritable syndrome: A case report. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 21, 1078–1079.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kunz, R., & Oxman, A. D. (1998). The unpredictability paradox: review of empirical comparisons of randomised and non-randomised clinical trials. British Medical Journal, 31, 1185–1190.Google Scholar
- Skoldstam, L., & Magnusson, K. E. (1991). Fasting, intestinal permeability, and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatic Diseases Clinics North America, 17, 363–371.Google Scholar
- Stewart, R. L. (1985). Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In H. I. Kaplan & B. J. Sadock (Eds.), Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry (4th ed., pp. 1331–1365). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
- Thompson, W. G., Dotevall, G., Drossman, D. A., Heaton, K. W., & Kruis, W. (1989). Irritable bowel syndrome: Guidelines for the diagnosis. Gastroenterology International, 2, 92–95.Google Scholar