04 Aug 2017

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME is not just one disease

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Irritable_bowel_syndrome 1_h

Scientists from the University of Newcastle (UON) and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) now believe IBS is a collection of individual diseases, rather than one illness.

IBS is very common. It is estimated that 14% to 23% of the population of the Western world have been afflicted with Irritable Bowel Syndrome at some period during their life.

The symptoms of IBS include bloating, abdominal pain, alternating constipation and diarrhoea, flatulence and frequent bowel movements.  Also patients often feel anxious or depressed.

Researchers now believe IBS is an umbrella term for individual gut-related diseases.

He said those individual diseases include:

  • People being genetically pre-disposed to gut issues. They found a particular gene that’s linked to IBS.
  • Patients developing the condition after gastroenteritis
  • Patients having a chronic gut infection of the large intestine
  • Patients having SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
  • History of antibiotic use
  • IBS linked to mental illness. Some people who will develop their IBS and then develop serious anxiety or depression for the first time. Researchers think that is related to changes in the gut, including inflammation that drives changes in the brain.
  • For some patients certain foods can exacerbate symptoms including, fatty foods, sorbitol, lactose, sucrose, dairy, wheat, and coffee.