Too Much Bacteria a Sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

A University of Southern California research team has found the purportedly found the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): An overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.

Researchers theorize ordinary bacteria normally confined to the large intestine may expand into the small intestine, prompting uncomfortable bloating and gas after meals, a change in bowel movements as well as an immune response that may account for the flu-like illness so common in the IBS patient, including such debilitating symptoms as headaches, muscle and joint pains and chronic fatigue.

Physicians frequently diagnose a patient with IBS when ongoing symptoms--diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas and abdominal pain--are not explained by medical tests such as gastrointestinal endoscopies. Scientists searched for a common thread to account for the symptoms in IBS. Studies indicate 92 percent of IBS patients report bloating after they eat, a symptom he saw again and again in his patients.

Although many physicians believe that IBS-related bloating is perceived and not real, recent studies of patients have shown their abdomens do become measurably more distended than those of healthy patients.

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients received either antibiotic therapy or a sugar pill. Patients whose small intestinal bacterial overgrowth was eradicated by antibiotics reported a 75 percent improvement in symptoms. But you don't need antibiotics to solve IBS. In fact, a drug-based solution makes no sense.

If the eating plan does not improve it, my experience is that there is usually an underlying emotional stress or anxiety. EFT is an excellent tool to address this stress. Learn more about it by reading my free manual.

Science Daily September 3, 2004

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