A good news day for IBS sufferers. I wish I had a pound for every time a patient has been told that IBS is psychological and ‘all in the mind’; I would be rich!
Scientists in Munich have at last discovered a physiological IBS sign, finding tiny inflammations in the mucosa of the bowel which then irritates the enteric (gut) nervous system causing the symptoms of IBS.
Even more interesting, though , is later work that suggests it is related to an allergic reaction. Project leader Prof. Schemann explains: “The irritated mucosa releases increased amounts of neuroactive substances such as serotonin, histamine and protease. This cocktail produced by the body could be the real cause of the unpleasant IBS complaints.”
Working on this premise, researchers then found that the IBS symptoms improved after treatment with an antihistamine usually taken for things like hay fever!
As I have always said: IBS is a mixture of allergy and the gut-brain link and this research is bearing that out. To treat it, you need to calm down the enteric nervous system, lower inflammation processes and treat for allergy. Personally, I would rather eliminate the culprit allergens, but it seems that an antihistamine approach might also be valid for quick symptom relief.
Either way, now we know that IBS is NOT all in the mind and we are not all annoying hypochondriacs! It does grieve me, though, that nutritionists have been saying this for decades, but we have to wait for so-called ‘orthodox proof’ for the theory to be taken seriously, despite the fact that we solve IBS cases daily.
Source and for the full story: Technische Universitaet Muenchen (2010, August 20). Proof that a gut-wrenching complaint — irritable bowel syndrome — is not in your head. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 26, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/08/100819141950.htm