IBS is triggered by a gut bacteria imbalance

Posted Mar 12, 2014 by Tim Sandle
For quite a long time, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was believed to be a primarily psychological condition. New evidence suggests that the main reason is an imbalance of gut bacteria.
IBS is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. IBS can be classified as either diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D), constipation-predominant (IBS-C), or with alternating stool pattern (IBS-A) or pain-predominant.
Due to new diagnostic insights and a rapidly growing knowledge about the role and function of the microbial communities living inside our guts, the medical view on IBS and its causes appears to be changing. New evidence suggests that IBS is associated with an imbalanced composition of the gut microbiota. This means that the system of checks and balances between beneficial and potentially harmful bacteria, which characterizes a healthy gut microbiota, is disturbed in IBS patients. In particular, infections caused by pathogens like Salmonella, Shighella or Campylobacter can severely disrupt the microbiota balance.
Another important factor is nutrition. Food that is rich in carbohydrates, particularly fiber, tends to produce larger amounts of gas than a diet without these ingredients. In some individuals, this might lead to repeated bloating and flatulence (a so-termed a "flatulogenic" diet).
The study was carried out at the University of Bologna, Italy and reported to the American Gastroenterological Association. A different research report, discussed by Digital Journal in 2012, also drew similar conclusions.