If you are like the majority of people who have suffered from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and have either not been diagnosed or received the care you needed, there may be new hope on the horizon.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common cause of lower abdominal pain and affects 30 million Americans annually. The disease is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Most people do not get a proper clinical diagnosis and can be mistakenly treated for other inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s disease. However, the results of new research may make testing more accurate—and ultimately help you deal with your pain.
The study looked at 221 patients, some of whom had IBS, some had inflammatory bowel disease, and some were healthy. The patients that had IBS also had very high blood levels of an antibody to a protein called vinculin which was not evident in the other two groups of patients. This can help doctors identify those who are suffering.
“This is a major breakthrough. It is the first test with a high specificity for IBS, likely based on a pathological mechanism of the disease,” said lead researcher, Dr. M. Pimentel. “Until this study, there had been no accurate biomarkers identified specifically for IBS. The new blood test has the potential to distinguish IBS from IBD and reduce the need for unnecessary testing, expense and years of suffering.”
I agree that this blood test, if proven to be effective in a larger clinical trial, could be an excellent way to diagnose and treat IBS. Certainly, Dr. Pimentel has previously indicated that the cause of IBS may be a harmful overgrowth of bacteria in the intestinal tract of humans. IBS is a disease that is caused from an imbalance in the growth of the normal flora in the gut which protects us from dangerous organisms and the growth of less-friendly and potentially dangerous micro-organisms.
Certainly, there are a number of highly toxic bacteria that people can ingest from food and water. These microbes can cause acute and chronic gastroenteritis but leave most of us relatively unscathed. However, the gut flora may remain quite affected by this overgrowth with subsequent recurrent symptoms of IBS typically being experienced during times of stress, poor dietary choices or overindulgence.
In my opinion, the best way to manage IBS is to take a high-potency bacterial probiotic culture containing a full array of friendly bacteria daily for weeks or even months until the situation corrects itself. Consuming fresh, unsweetened yogurt or kefir will also supply your gastrointestinal tract with a high concentration of friendly bacteria which will help to reduce inflammation and normalize gut function.
There may be times when this treatment will not be sufficient and antibiotics will be required to kill the pathogens inhabiting your gut. If this is the case, continue to take the probiotics and do so long after your prescription has been completed.
Some simple dietary changes such as removing sugar, refined flour products, saturated fat, and trans fat from your diet may also be an important step. Increasing the amount of fiber and level of hydration in your diet may also prove to be quite helpful. Consuming more oily fish like salmon and using spices like turmeric can also have an anti-inflammatory affect upon the mucous membranes of your gastro-intestinal tract.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“New blood test could help millions with gastrointestinal disorders,” ScienceDaily web site, October 16, 2013; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016095939.htm, last accessed Oct. 22, 2013.