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IBS isn’t ‘in the mind’ – it’s caused by bacteria in the gut

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Far from being ‘all in the mind’ as some doctors still insist, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is caused by bacterial overgrowth in the gut, researchers have confirmed this week.
It affects up to 60 per cent of IBS patients who regularly suffer from diarrhea, and in 30 per cent of patients overall.
The link is so clear, say researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, that a test for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) should be the first that doctors use for any patients they suspect has IBS.
Their research also changes the way IBS is treated. Up to now, those doctors who even believe that IBS is a real disease have tried to alleviate the symptoms, whereas rifaximin, a targeted antibiotic, could successfully treat it.
(Source: Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 2012; doi: 10.1007/s10620-012-2197-1).

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