Talking Therapy May Relieve Chronic Conditions Such as IBS, Diabetes, Study Says

It may be possible to gab your way to better health, researchers said Monday.

Talking therapies, by which people learn to change their attitudes towards illness, can help to relieve chronic conditions such as diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to scientists speaking at the 2007 Festival of Science in York, U.K.

Research suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy, a technique by which patients discuss their mental attitudes with psychologists, can have a positive effect on the physical symptoms of disease, the Times of London reported.

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A trial of the therapy in 300 patients with type 1 diabetes, led by Professor Trudie Chalder, of King’s College London, has found that it can lead to real reductions in their blood sugar, the festival was told.

The benefits appear to derive from the way in which patients become more motivated to change their diets and exercise patterns.