Loyola Medicine is among the first to conduct a clinical study using hypnotherapy to treat functional dyspepsia, a gastrointestinal disorder affecting approximately 10 percent of the population.
People affected by functional dyspepsia experience frequent stomach upset, including symptoms of stomach pain or burning, nausea, bloating, belching and a prolonged feeling of fullness. Medical testing does not reveal any abnormalities that explain these symptoms, and the condition is thought to be related to dysfunction of the nerves and muscles of the stomach.
Recent scientific research indicates that this dysfunction is explained in part by the brain-gut axis, communication pathway between the gut’s nervous system and the brain. In conditions like functional dyspepsia, disruption in this pathway causes the nerves and muscles to go awry, resulting in uncomfortable digestive symptoms. Functional dyspepsia is more common in women than men, and psychological issues such as stress and anxiety can worsen symptoms.