Irritable Bowel Syndrome News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Mindfulness meditation relieves irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

Meditating Man​A randomized trial of mindfulness meditation therapy has found it to be as much as four times more effective than group support sessions in reducing the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The results of the study were presented at the 2011 Digestive Disease Week meeting held in Chicago (abstract 219) and reported recently by Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, an independent monthly newspaper for gastroenterologists.

In addition to the headline results in which mindfulness therapy compared very favourably with group support, IBS patients who participated in eight weekly meditation sessions and meditated daily at home during that period also continued to feel better three months after ending treatment.

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Antibiotic rifaximin is safest drug treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

Rifaximin Tablets​A study reviewing clinical trials of common pharmaceuticals used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has found that the gut-specific antibiotic drug rifaximin was associated with far fewer side-effects than other alternatives.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, analysed the results of 26 large-scale clinical trials and found that rifaximin was by far the safest treatment when compared to other drugs including tricyclic antidepressants and alosetron, all typically used in the treatment of diarrhoea-predominant IBS (IBS-D).

The study, whose results are to be presented at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting in Washington, D.C., was led by Dr. Mark Pimentel, MD, director of the G.I. Motility Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and investigated drug interventions deemed to have previously shown their effectiveness in treating IBS.

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Specific gut microbes associated with irritable bowel syndrome in children


Microbes living in the human gutResearchers studying the composition of the intestinal microflora in children diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have found that specific types of bacteria are associated with the condition.

Disturbances in the normal balance of microbes that inhabit the gastrointestinal (GI) system have previouly been noted in adults suffering from IBS, the most frequently diagnosed GI illness in developed countries. The gut microflora usually benefits its human host by producing nutrients (e.g. vitamins B & K) and helping to regulate the immune system - factors such as antibiotic use, infection and poor diet can disturb the delicate balance of microbes and lead to disease, however.

Scientists based in Texas and The Netherlands undertook this latest study to determine if children suffering from IBS also carried an unusual mix of gut microbes compared to their healthy peers. The team report on their findings in the journal Gastroenterology.

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Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) common in irritable bowel syndrome


Human Digestive SystemSmall intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is much more common among irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers than it is among healthy individuals and affects sub-groups of sufferers to different degrees, according to the latest research.

Important findings from the study include SIBO being much more common among the diarrhoea-predominant sub-type of IBS (IBS-D)  and also among female IBS sufferers. In addition, a large amount of bloating experienced by those with IBS was found to be strongly associated with the presence of SIBO.

The study was carried out by researchers from the Department of Gastroenterology at the GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi, India, and the results are published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Exercise reduces irritable bowel syndrome symptoms


Walking on the beachThe results of a just published randomised controlled trial (RCT) suggest exercise, or a general increase in physical activity, can have beneficial effects on the digestive symptoms which those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) constantly struggle with.

Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg noted that previous studies have shown exercise can improve the symptoms of depression and fibromyalgia, conditions which are often comorbid with IBS, but the effects of exercise on the primary digestive symptoms of IBS had not been properly investigated.

To test whether physical activity had any effect on the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms of IBS, such as constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas and abdominal pain, the scientists randomised 102 IBS patients aged 18-65, to either a physical activity group or a control group.

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