Posts Tagged IBS

SCIENCE AND THE IRRITATING BOWEL

Posted by on Monday, 6 September, 2010

IRRITABLE BOWEL

FECAL MATTERS

FLATULENCE.

Pretty funny!

And cramping pain, diarrhea, constipation, general misery.

I’m KILLIN’ you, right?  Hard to say what causes such symptoms in so many but let’s call it irritable bowel syndrome so we can have a medical billing code, OK?

Maybe 20% of grownups “live with it” (IBS) because – what’re ya gonna do? Just the way it is. It’s common and it’s not well understood. Gastroenterologists  call it a functional disorder. Know it when you see it.

Its REAL! It’s REAL! You’re NOT (that) crazy!

Dr. Michael Schemann leads a team at Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Munich) which has been trying to figure out what’s up with this hard-to-define disorder. They’ve described some  interesting work . In the case of IBS, the mucus membrane’s just a bit inflamed and, at the same time, the nervous system of the gut is very jacked up. Probably wouldn’t make much difference somewhere else in the body but the intestines are much more sensitive than you would think for an organ that spends so much time in close contact with – well you know.

When the lining of the intestine gets irritated, it releases a “cocktail” of chemicals like protease,  seretonin, and histamine.  And this chemical fog  may be the real reason for the symptoms of IBS.

This is supposed to come as a relief to IBS sufferers who might feel on the defensive cause maybe they’re making it all up. But IBS is real enough. MISTERScienceAintSoBad can tell ya and he ain’t no crank!

By the way, did you notice that histamines are part of the “cocktail”? Histamines. As in immune response? Isn’t that what ANTI-histamines for allergies are all about? What would happen if IBS sufferers took antihistamines?

Well their noses would stop dripping. That’s for sure. But Dr. Robert Wascher (mensdailynews.com) describes a double blind study for IBS where an antihistamine is taken for 8 weeks.

WHAT a surprise! The subjects did lots better.

What to make of all this?

It’s all good. It’s medical science doin’ its thing.

ScienceAintSoBadRating = 9 . Not definitive. But it moves things onto more solid ground and exposes a possible mechanism for a widespread and annoying illness.

Nice.

Credits for the image: Just me. :)