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Breakthrough in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with 94% reduction in symptoms

New treatment approach is very promising.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder that has a lifetime risk of 30% for a Canadian. The main symptoms follow a catchy acronym of ABCD. Abdominal Pain, Bloating, Constipation, Diarrhea. Many suffer with altered bowel behaviors as well. The diagnosis is one of exclusion. This means they have ruled out everything else that is life-threatening and still not sure what is causing your symptoms. You are then diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome comes with different symptom pictures and is thus categorized in diagnosis by these pictures. IBS-D for diarrhea as the main symptom, IBS-C for constipation as the main symptom, etc… The point of this article is not to expound on the diagnosis and screening of IBS but to explore a new treatment option for the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

One of the known factors in Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the imbalance in the microorganisms of the digestive tract, dysbiosis. Researchers have discovered a new approach of diagnosing and treating this imbalance that is showing promise.

This new approach comes from research in a condition call SIBO, small intestine bacterial overgrowth. SIBO is a condition where the normal bacteria of the intestines overgrow and cause symptoms that mimic Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In fact small intestine bacteria overgrowth has been shown to exist in 84% of Irritable bowel syndrome patients. If symptoms of IBS are present as well as one of the following associated conditions then SIBO should be considered.

Associated Conditions:

Acne Roseacea Acromegaly Alcohol Consumption (moderate intake) Anemia Autism Celiac Disease Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) Chronic Prostatitis Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes Diverticulitis Fibromyalgia GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) H. pylori Infection Hypochlorhydria(low stomach acid) Hypothyroid/ Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) -Crohn’s -Ulcerative Colitis IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Interstitial Cystitis Leaky Gut Liver Cirrhosis Lyme Medications: Proton Pump Inhibitors, Opiates Muscular Dystrophy (myotonic Type 1) NASH/NAFLD (non-alcoholic: steatohepatitis/fatty liver disease) Obesity Parkinson’s Restless Leg Syndrome Rheumatoid Arthritis Scleroderma Surgery: Post-Gastrectomy

SIBO is diagnosed mainly by the same breath test technology that diagnoses H. pylori. Hydrogen breath testing is the preferred test for diagnosis. At this time hydrogen breath testing is best at isolating the balance of organisms in the small intestine.

Medical Doctors at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles have been researching SIBO and have discovered that methane, produced by the overgrowth of small intestinal bacteria, causes motility issues in the intestines and thus creates symptoms similar to IBS. They discovered that treating the overgrowth of the bacteria with specific antibiotics and dietary changes reversed symptoms by 94%.

This is still preliminary research but the side effects are very low because the antibiotics used are almost non-absorbed into the body and thus mainly affect the bacteria of the intestines. Symptoms associated with antibiotic use are drastically reduced with the use of probiotics.

The approach of treating the imbalance of organisms in the intestines shows the most promise in reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome at this point. Only more research will tell, but until this comes in, people around the globe who suffer from IBS are experiencing improvement when addressing the imbalance in microorganisms.

Pimentel M, Chow EI, Lin HC, et al. Normalization of lactulose breath testing correlates with symptom improvement in irritable bowel syndrome: a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Gastroenterol. 2003;98:412–419

Lombardo L, Foti M, et al. Increased Incidence of Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth during Proton Pump Inhibitor Therapy. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. June 2010;Vol. 8, Issue 6, 504-508

Siebecker A, ND, Lac, Sandberg-Lewis S, ND, DHANP. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth: the case of the perpetual patient. Naturopathic News and Review. March 2011.

Pimentel, Mark. A New IBS Solution. Sherman Oaks, Ca, Health Point Press, 2006.

Cuoco L, Salvagnini M. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth in irritable bowel syndrome: a retrospective study with rifaximin. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2006 Mar;52(1):89-95.

Barrett JS, et al. Probiotic effects on intestinal fermentation patterns in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Aug 28;14(32):5020-4.