The causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome have challenged scientists for decades. Some new research draws a strong link between IBS and the population of bacteria in the human gut.
A new scientific study suggests that an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut is strongly linked to incidents of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a common gut disorder. Symptoms can be quite variable between different people and include abdominal pain, bloating, and sometimes bouts of diarrhoea and/or constipation. Symptoms tend to come and go. There is no cure for IBS, but symptoms can often be eased with treatment.
According to the Cedars-Sinai Institute, the study examined samples of small bowel cultures, taken from some 320 patients, to confirm the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (termed SIBO). For those patients who suffered from IBS, more than one third also were diagnosed with small intestine bacterial overgrowth. For those with diarrhea-predominant IBS the relationship was even greater, with over 60 percent having bacterial overgrowth.
This contrasted with less than 10 percent of those who did not suffer with IBS.
According to Newswire, the implications of the research could lead to a change of approach for managing IBS. Currently most suffers take medicine aimed at alleviating the symptoms of IBS (such as peppermint oil). The study's results indicate that treatment involving targeted antibiotics may be more effective.
The results of the study have been published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences (May 2012). The study was undertaken by research teams based at the Sismanogleion General Hospital in Athens, Greece, and at the University of Athens.
The reference for the paper is:
Gene Kimet al. Methanobrevibacter smithii Is the Predominant Methanogen in Patients with Constipation-Predominant IBS and Methane on Breath. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 2012