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Researchers Discover the Cause: IBS is Not in the Mind

Friday, October 08, 2010 by: Tony Isaacs
Tags: IBS, causes, health news

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(NewsTarget) Doctors who have been telling IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) patients that it's all in their mind will have to rethink that approach after scientists finally discovered the problem really does exist. Researchers at Munich's Technische University have located the cause of IBS and it is in the gut, not the mind. Specifically, it is the result of tiny inflammations in the mucosa of the gut, which upset the sensitive balance of the bowel.

Professor Michael Schemann's research team at the TUM Department for Human Biology demonstrated that micro-inflammations of the mucosa cause sensitization of the enteric nervous system, which in turn cause irritable bowel syndrome. The researchers used ultrafast optical measuring methods to demonstrate that mediators from mast cells and enterochromaffin cells directly activate the nerve cells in the bowel.

The hypersensitivity of the enteric nervous system upsets communication between the gut's mucosa and its nervous system. Project leader Professor Schemann explained: "The irritated mucosa releases increased amounts of neuroactive substances such as serotonin, histamine and protease. This cocktail produced by the body could be the real cause of the unpleasant IBS complaints."

The scientists are the first to identify IBS's cause; up to now, many doctors have dismissed their IBS patients as merely being hypochondriacs. Irritable bowel syndrome makes life miserable for those affected - an estimated ten percent or more of the population.

IBS can turn digestion into a nightmare. Common symptoms include stomach disorders, nausea, cramps, Flatulence, constipation and diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps, sleep disturbances, headaches and backache. While the new research findings will almost surely lead to medicines and treatments to inhibit serotonin, histamine and protease, the findings could also help reinforce and narrow natural treatments for IBS.

Proper diet has been the foremost tool used against IBS. Eating properly for IBS can relieve and prevent both diarrhea and constipation, as well pain, gas, and bloating. This is best accomplished by avoiding foods that over-stimulate or irritate the colon and eating foods that soothe and regulate it. It is considered essential to strictly limit the amount of unhealthy dietary fats (the single most powerful digestive tract stimulant), eat soluble fiber consistently with every snack and meal, eliminate coffee, carbonated beverages and alcohol, be very careful with insoluble fiber, and avoid overeating. It is also important to avoid cigarettes, as tobacco wreaks havoc on the digestive tract.

The following list includes many potential dietary sources of trouble. Please note that, since individual tolerances for IBS triggers vary, you may find through experimentation that you have a higher degree of tolerance for some of these foods than others:

Red meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc.), poultry dark meat and skin, dairy products, egg yolks, fried foods, coconut milk, oils, shortening, butter, fats, solid chocolate, regular and decaffeinated coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, artificial fats, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

One food item that may be particularly beneficial is apples (with the hard to digest skin removed or else cooked). Apples contain malic acid, a substance that eases pain and inflammation. Apples also contain pectin, which helps remove toxins that may be causing stomach irritation as well as other problems.

Another item which could help tremendously is raw honey, especially a type of honey known as manuka honey. People have reported being able to conquer IBS completely with the combination of a good diet and taking a teaspoon of raw manuka honey dissolved in a cup of warm water three times daily on an empty stomach.
Other items which have been reported to be beneficial for IBS include:

* Digestive enzymes
* Ginger
* Colloidal silver

Sources included:

http://www.wddty.com/ibs-cause-finally-ident...
http://scienceblog.com/37670/proof-that-a-gu...
http://gut.bmj.com/content/59/9/1213.abstrac...
http://www.healingwell.com/library/ibs/artic...

About the author

Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".
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