"There is no cure for IBS"

"There is no cure for IBS"

Postby themsforum.org » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 8:09 am

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Some conventional home truths about IBS

"The cause is not known".
"There is no cure for IBS"
"It is a functional disorder meaning - there is no abnormality in the structure but it still behaves abnormally"
First develops in teens and young adults. It is twice as common in females.
Mild to severe pain.
Bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation may alternate.
Urgency is common.
May be associated with nausea, headache, belching, tiredness, backache, muscle pains, heartburn, and bladder symptoms.
There is no test that confirms the diagnosis of IBS.
There is speculation that there is "overactivity of nerves or muscles to the gut".
Symptoms tend to become worse during times of stress or anxiety.
Intolerance to certain foods may play a part in some cases and hence avoidance of these is important.
(To be continued)
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Re: "There is no cure for IBS" OR is there a cure?

Postby Dr Amir (Dental Surgeon) » Wed, 10 Oct 2012, 8:32 pm

Symmetry and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Many of you may remember a time when it was not uncommon to attribute gastric or duodenal ulcers to stress and anxiety.

However, Australian doctors, Dr. Marshall B and his colleague Warren JR demonstrated a bacterium on gastric epithelium in 1983 . It has since been demonstrated that the break in the lining of the stomach, which often takes place during normal digestive processes, gets infected by this bacterium. This bacterium was eventually named Helicobacter Pylori. Treatment with a triple antibiotic therapy soon kills the bacterium and cures the ulcer site. The New England Journal of Medicine refused to publish their findings in 1987. The peer reviewers for the NEJM were also working for Glaxo who were profiting handsomely from their drug Zantac and tried to suppress the less expensive and more effective antibiotic treatment. I have my own brother who suffered for years, had three operations, is now crippled with adhesions and was only cured after I phoned his doctor to put him on the antibiotics!

Glaxo conspired to discredit their work because the sales of their drug fell through the floor. However Dr. Marshall and Dr. Warren went onto win the Nobel Prize for their work.

Research indicates that up to a fifth of the population in the United Kingdom is affected by IBS symptoms at some time during the course of their lives. In any one-year, the symptoms are so severe in some 80,000 patients that they need hospital treatment.

In an American study it has been claimed that after the common cold, IBS is the commonest cause of time lost off work.

Costly research programmes amounting to tens of millions of pounds are being conducted both here and in the rest of the world to identify the cause or causes of the syndrome. A variety of studies including perfusion and computer aided motility studies to observe fine detail of gut function, mucosal defence and inflammatory response studies, pathophysiology of gut, neural and vascular function etc. are being carried out. The answers, it is claimed, are perhaps 10 years away. (In the mean time keep taking our drugs)

It is important for you as a reader to bear in mind some points borne out by epidemiological and research studies.

Studies around the world have indicated that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is most common in developed countries i.e. Europe, Japan and North America but less common in South East Asia & Africa.

Other statistics and research indicates that the condition world-wide is also more common in cities rather than in rural communities. Six times as many clerical/office workers suffer as manual workers. Three times as many women as men appear to suffer. The starting age seems to be 22 while it is more prevalent in the over 45's.

Other research has shown that there is a significant increase in gynaecological symptoms in female IBS patients. Depression and lethargy is often an accompaniment. Those with bloating of the stomach report symptoms worsening as the day goes on but the diarrhoea rarely occurred at night.

Exacerbation of symptoms has been noted to occur at times of stress and anxiety A link between panic attacks and gastro-intestinal symptoms has been reported.

It has been known that people with IBS can develop other diseases such as diverticulitis, haemorrhoids, ulceration of the gut, Crohn’s disease (Ulcerative colitis), and cancer.

No genetic link has been established.

Overgrowth of candida, food allergens, lack of essential nutrients and digestive enzymes has been cited for worsening symptoms.

The results of surveys describe the general trend of treatment which consists of antispasmodics, antidiarrhoeal agents, certain types of food abstinence, anticandidal remedies, colonic irrigation, acupuncture, homeopathic remedies and increased fibre intake etc. There has been only a limited success with any of these forms of treatment.

One in ten patients also suffer with depression and anxiety states. It has been postulated that "the brain also plays an important role in the symptoms of IBS" and in these patients antidepressants which work both as antispasmodics and at the same time control anxiety have been used.

Excess bile secretion and failure of its reabsorption from the intestines is also thought to lead to diarrhoea. Chemical compounds, which bind the bile acids and prevent their laxative effect on the colon, are used to counter the laxative effect of excess bile salts to control the diarrhoea.

In other studies pelvic floor muscles have been shown not to be functioning correctly in cases where constipation is the predominant symptom. Here the patients have been scanned to possibly reveal that instead of relaxing the pelvic floor muscles on defecation, they contract them.

Biofeedback therapy has been used successfully in such patients. Biofeedback is a technique designed to train the mind to control bodily functions.

Surgical treatment of IBS has not been promising.

Alternate practitioners hypothesise that candida is the cause in nearly all affected patients. Anti-candida sugar free diets, cleansing diets, food combining diets, macrobiotics, live bacterial supplements help sometimes but consistent relief is as elusive as ever.
To be continued...........
© Dr M. Amir 2012
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