This is a wonderful new research article by Dr. El-Salhy out of Norway about IBS. It makes 2 very important points. They are somewhat complicated points, so I’ll try to break them down into simpler language.
First, the study notes that alterations in the gut-brain connection (neuroendocrine system) are a symptom of something else. The something else that they’re referring to can be diet, intestinal bacteria (probiotics), and/or inflammation. We’ve been saying this for many years and this is exactly the kind of thing that we address at the IBS Treatment Center. It’s also why we’re so successful at helping people with IBS. We find the causes of inflammation, the bacterial imbalances, and the individual dietary triggers for the symptoms of IBS and go from there.
Second, the research article points out that there is a connection between IBS and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis). This again is a point that we’ve been making for several years. They are not completely separate problems that have nothing in common. They are linked, and a significant number of people suffer from both.
Keep up the great work Dr. El-Salhy. We’re listening!
From National Institutes of Health:
World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct 7;18(37):5151-63. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i37.5151.
Irritable bowel syndrome: diagnosis and pathogenesis.
Section for Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Stord Helse-Fonna Hospital, 5416 Stord, Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal (GI) disorder that considerably reduces the quality of life. It further represents an economic burden on society due to the high consumption of healthcare resources and the non-productivity of IBS patients.
The diagnosis of IBS is based on symptom assessment and the Rome III criteria. A combination of the Rome III criteria, a physical examination, blood tests, gastroscopy and colonoscopy with biopsies is believed to be necessary for diagnosis. Duodenal chromogranin A cell density is a promising biomarker for the diagnosis of IBS. The pathogenesis of IBS seems to be multifactorial, with the following factors playing a central role in the pathogenesis of IBS: heritability and genetics, dietary/intestinal microbiota, low-grade inflammation, and disturbances in the neuroendocrine system (NES) of the gut.
One hypothesis proposes that the cause of IBS is an altered NES, which would cause abnormal GI motility, secretions and sensation. All of these abnormalities are characteristic of IBS. Alterations in the NES could be the result of one or more of the following: genetic factors, dietary intake, intestinal flora, or low-grade inflammation. Post-infectious IBS (PI-IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease-associated IBS (IBD-IBS) represent a considerable subset of IBS cases. Patients with PI- and IBD-IBS exhibit low-grade mucosal inflammation, as well as abnormalities in the NES of the gut.
Image thanks to wellandgoodnyc.com