Irritable Bowel Syndrome/IBS and songs?


Hi. I have had IBS for many years, but I've learned what pressed the buttons (including when I feel stressed) and try to avoid things. One interesting thing that does press the 'button' is when I have a song playing over and over in my head. (Later, not when I'm currently listening to the song.) Like an old record player needle carving a groove in my brain. I really gotta run to the bathroom when this happens.
Have you ever heard of this before?

Hi Ross - I haven't heard of anything specifically like this before, but I've heard some similar things. It is not surprising. IBS by definition is a brain-gut disorder, and it's known to have anxiety/stress and even depression/OCD elements factor in with some people.

I'd bet if you can replace the song playing over in your mind with something else, it might break this cycle. IBS gut-specific hypnotherapy is my first thought - it breaks the brain-gut dysfunction that underlies IBS.

You can see in-person practitioners or do a program at home. There is a ton of info about both options starting here and you can listen to some audio samples here


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Heather Van Vorous


I can address questions regarding diet, cooking, recipes, and non-pharmaceutical supplements (soluble fiber, herbal, probiotics, etc.) for IBS. I can supply information sources about diagnostic guidelines, symptoms, and the medical pathology of IBS, but I cannot give a diagnosis or analyze test results a patient has obtained. I would prefer not to answer questions about prescription drugs and diagnostic tests. PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOUR SYMPTOMS AND THEN ASK ME TO DIAGNOSE YOU!


I'm the founder and CEO of, an organization dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My goal is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

I'm the author of Eating for IBS, the only explicit dietary guide and cookbook for people with bowel disorders. Eating for IBS then led to my second book, The First Year: IBS, a comprehensive view of the disorder and every way to successfully manage it. Together, these works have become the two best-selling, best-reviewed IBS books in America.

My writing has led to an ongoing Canadian clinical research study of the groundbreaking dietary guidelines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Eating for IBS; this work also led to my inclusion in the 4th edition of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. Today's Dietitian has featured my IBS dietary guidelines, and my work has reached gastroenterologists and internists. I'm the author of "Heather's IBS Newsletter", which is free to subscribers and is published twice monthly. As a result, I've become recognized as the foremost patient-expert on IBS in America. I've personally had IBS since age 9.

I now teach classes on managing IBS through lifestyle modifications, I developed the Heather's Tummy Care line of organic medical foods for the dietary management of IBS, and I'm planning to work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs. I host Heather Cooks!, the Seattle television cooking show for good digestive health, which is now available on DVD and also on the HelpForIBS YouTube Channel.

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