alternative medicine

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources

Antidepressants for IBS? Here's what they're not telling you
Antidepressants for IBS? Here's what they're not telling you

When will they realize that not every answer comes in a pill?

It's amazing how conditioned the medical community is to pushing drugs for every illness, whether they're needed or not.

The latest example is a study published in the journal Gut on irritable bowel syndrome, that debilitating condition that can include painful cramping, constipation, or diarrhea. The study found that antidepressants can provide relief, at least in the short term. This is being hailed as a victory for these side-effect-filled drugs.

There's just one hitch: that same study also found that non-drug psychological therapies are just as effective.

Not almost as effective. Not kind of effective. But just as effective.

The researchers say the trials they studied on non-drug treatments were of lower quality, making the data "less robust," and because of that, the drugs win despite the equal result. They win, that is, if you listen to the establishment on this one.


Remember, the drugs had something of a built-in advantage here. Most of them work in a similar way. So it follows that if one of them is effective in treating IBS, chances are most of them will be.

The non-drug therapies, on the other hand, varied more widely. They included cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, and hypnotherapy.

But take your pick. Despite the great differences between those drug-free treatments, they still performed every bit as well as those antidepressants -- and without the side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and increased thoughts of suicide.

Millions of folks who take antidepressants struggle mightily with the side effects. On the other hand, I've never heard of anyone getting ill because of a little relaxation therapy.

What's even more stunning is that this isn't the first time a study has found that drug-free psychological therapies can be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome. Over the years, both psychological and medical journals have published research pointing in the same direction.

The headline from this could have easily been "Study Confirms Drug-Free Therapy Effective for IBS," or "Drugs No More Effective Than Psychological Therapy."

Instead, we get this disappointing new push for more drug-based treatments when none are necessary.

There's no reason to fool with drugs for this one, folks. Their own study proves it. Now how can we convince them of their own results?
About this page