Tolerance Limits,Self-understanding, and Stress Resilience in Integrative Recovery of Inflammatory Bowel Disease


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Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

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People living with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experienced that knowledge about their embodied tolerance limits, diet, mental problem solving, and change in lifestyle together with integrative health care could promote recovery from their diagnosed disease in calmer periods of suffering. A hermeneutic approach was used to analyze interviews with patients living with IBD outside hospitals. Thirteen young adults between 18 and 45 years of age in calmer phases of IBD participated in the study. Three main themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews: (1) Understanding limits in embodied tolerance, (2) Restoring balance is creating a new equilibrium, and (3) Creating resilience through integrative care. Anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, and fatigue are known consequences of IBD and create a lower degree of well-being for the patients. The digestive system is very important in establishing the interface between the body and the external world. Properly functioning digestion, psychosocial stress reduction, and sleep quality are important to rebuild a balanced immune system. Stress resilience during a patient’s recovery from IBD requires self-understanding, self-recognition, and psychosocial support from health care professionals at hospital outpatient clinics.




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