Doctors who give IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) patients a hard time will have to rethink their approach this week after scientists finally discovered the problem really does exist, and isn't in the patient's mind. Researchers at Munich's Technische University have located the cause of IBS - it's the result of tiny inflammations in the mucosa of the gut, which upset the sensitive balance of the bowel. The scientists are the first to identify IBS's cause; up to now, many doctors have dismissed the IBS patient as a hypochondriac. IBS affects around 10 per cent of the population, and symptoms include stomach disorders, nausea, cramps, sleep disturbances, headaches and backache. (Source: Gut, 2010; doi: 10.1136/gut.2010.213108).