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IBS Now Most Reported Gastrointestinal Disorder

Are researchers treating IBS in a manner fitting the most reported gastrointestinal disorder, or is it taking a back seat while other maladies that have clinical validity get research funding? Where does the rubber meat the road? What is "clinical validity? As defined by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) clinical validity is a measurement of the accuracy with which a test or tool identifies or predicts a clinical condition. So does that mean because doctors and scientists can't identify what cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nor can they predict it in any measure, nor can they find any tool or test by which to measure it, does this mean that IBS has no clinical Validity?


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As already mentioned, abnormal function of the nerves of the gastrointestinal organs, at least theoretically, might occur in the organ, spinal cord, or brain. Moreover, the abnormalities might occur in the sensory nerves, the motor nerves, or at processing centers in the intestine, spinal cord, or brain. Some researchers argue that the cause of functional diseases is abnormalities in the function of the sensory nerves. For example, normal activities, such as stretching of the small intestine by food, may give rise to abnormal sensory signals that are sent to the spinal cord and brain, where they are perceived as pain.

That being said, one might think that a question of ethics needs to be addressed. Is it ethical for research that concerns public health in such a large fashion, to be guarded so closely? Or should the information be shared among research facilities in an attempt to bring about faster and possibly better results, giving a brighter hope of bringing about some type of relief to the millions who suffer? What is more important? For now, it would seem the money is.

If a search is made of the available date on Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, what one finds is a repeat of the same information that has been available since the early 90's. It just gets hashed and rehashed in a slightly different manner, but with the same type of results. True there are some new drugs that have been released from clinical trials that are showing less then admirable results.

Many irritable bowel syndrome sufferers first develop symptoms of IBS during their teenage years. Symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation and bloating are difficult even for an adult to deal with, and if you also have to cope with peer pressure, new relationships and exams it can make life very miserable indeed.

It's also vital that teenagers receive a definite diagnosis of IBS from a doctor - bowel symptoms can mean IBS, but they can also mean Crohn's Disease, celiac disease, and a range of other disorders, so please get these ruled out before you assume that it's IBS.

If Irritable Bowel Syndrome has such a devastating affect, why then isn't more information on the research being done on Irritable bowel Syndrome available? If Irritable bowel Syndrome affects so many people and causes so many missed work days, then why isn't there more research being done to find the cause and extrapolate a cure? In actuality there is a large amount of research being done. The reasons for that information not being in the public lime light are probably due to privacy issues set down by the Federal Advisory Committee.

About the Author Scott Best is a freelance author for many sites, and also an IBS sufferer. He has graciously agreed to be an occasional contributor and editor for IBS Help Site at http://ibshelpsite.com

For now there may be no easy answers, no magic pill and no set standards for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome but there is the hope of tomorrow. A fledgling website has been fostered by a few concerned contributors feeling the need of bringing to IBS sufferers the best information available on the subject. Its contributors, suffers themselves, give their time and efforts actively seeking out any and all information that has the possibility of giving even the smallest amount of relief for those that struggle with Irritable bowel Syndrome. IBS Help Site.com though in its infancy, is in hope of helping, with timely information and ideas all focused on the care and treatment of those that have IBS. Someday, the greatest thrill would be the ability to post, in big and bold letters, that a cure for IBS has been found. Visit http://ibshelpsite.com for more IBS information. For articles concerning Irritable Bowel Syndrome please visit http://ibshelpsite.com/articles/

Dietary fat in healthy individuals causes food as well as gas to move more slowly through the stomach and small intestine. Some patients with IBS may even respond to dietary fat in an exaggerated fashion with greater slowing. Thus, dietary fat could and probably does aggravate the symptoms of IBS.

Other researchers argue that the cause of functional diseases is abnormalities in the function of the motor nerves. For example, abnormal commands through the motor nerves might produce a painful spasm (contraction) of the muscles. Still others argue that abnormally functioning processing centers are responsible for functional diseases because they misinterpret normal sensations or send abnormal commands to the organ. In fact, some functional diseases may be due to sensory dysfunction, motor dysfunction, or both sensory and motor dysfunction. Still others may be due to abnormalities within the processing centers One area that is receiving a great deal of scientific attention is the potential role of gas produced by intestinal bacteria in patients with IBS. Studies have demonstrated that patients with IBS produce larger amounts of gas than individuals without IBS, and the gas may be retained longer in the small intestine. Among patients with IBS, abdominal size increases over the day, reaching a maximum in the evening and returning to baseline by the following morning. In individuals without IBS, there is no increase in abdominal size during the day.

The nervous system that controls the gastrointestinal organs, as with most other organs, contains both sensory and motor nerves. The sensory nerves continuously sense what is happening within the organ and relay this information to nerves in the organ's wall. From there, information can be relayed to the spinal cord and brain. The information is received and processed in the organ's wall, the spinal cord, or the brain. Then, based on this sensory input and the way the input is processed, commands (responses) are sent to the organ over the motor nerves. Two of the most common motor responses in the intestine are contraction or relaxation of the muscle of the organ and secretion of fluid and/or mucus into the organ.

Sometimes patients are given a colonoscopy, where a tiny camera is inserted into the intestines to look for abnormalities. In an IBS sufferer the colonoscopy won't detect any physical signs of disease ' IBS is often called a 'functional' disorder, because it seems to be caused by an alteration in the way the body functions rather than an identifiable cause such as inflammation.

There has been a great deal of controversy over the role that poor digestion and/or absorption of dietary sugars may play in aggravating the symptoms of IBS. Poor digestion of lactose, the sugar in milk, is very common as is poor absorption of fructose, a sweetener found in many processed foods. Poor digestion or absorption of these sugars could aggravate the symptoms of IBS since unabsorbed sugars often cause increased formation of gas.

It is very important that you receive a diagnosis of IBS from a medical professional rather than self-diagnosing, as bowel symptoms can be present in many other health conditions.

Once a diagnosis has been made, you need to work alongside your teenager to help them find some treatments that work for them. This may be in the form of medications, dietary change, or supplements, and it may take a while to find something that works for each individual, but there certainly are treatments out there - don't let your child feel that they're going to suffer forever, or that just because IBS is still poorly understood there's no hope for the future. Most IBS sufferers find a treatment program that works for them, but it may take time and a trial and error approach.

Another important point to remember is that because of the general lack of understanding of IBS, there are some long-standing myths which your child might be subjected to. The most damaging, and most common, of these myths is that IBS is "all in your head" - the implication being that if the sufferer would stop being so neurotic or anxious the IBS symptoms would magically go away. This is nonsense, and you should make sure that your child knows that their symptoms are NOT their fault, and are certainly not caused by emotional problems.

However, this does not mean it is any less real than, say, inflammatory bowel disease, it just means that doctors haven't come up with a proper test for it yet!

If the drugs do not help you then you could try using a fiber supplement such as Citrucel to add bulk to your stool ' this can be helpful for both diarrhea and constipation. Also, there are other supplements such as Caltrate Plus which may be useful (Caltrate Plus contains calcium carbonate which can reduce diarrhea).

Having said that, stress and anxiety can be triggers for IBS, just as certain foods can be triggers for IBS, and so anything you can do to relieve stress may help relieve symptoms to a certain extent. Remember that your child may be worried about not reaching a bathroom in time and having an accident, or having to leave class during school time and being made fun of. They might also have problems with teachers who think that they are missing out on too much school.

An anonymous source inside a facility that conducts Irritable Bowel Syndrome research characterized the research by saying that it falls into a gray area of scientific study. Because the research lacks moral urgency, meaning the disease isn't killing people, or putting people in the hospital for long terms, it has the potential to be one of the best commercially viable research endeavourers in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Thus most of the information and research data of any value are closely guarded.

On top of this, teenagers often find that their parents, and even their doctors, do not take them seriously when they try to seek help. The number one complaint I hear from teenagers who have been diagnosed with IBS, often after many months or years of asking for help, is that "no-one believed I was sick". This is horrible for the teenager, as not only do they have the physical pain and discomfort to deal with, they also have to get past the fact that everyone around them thinks they are 'faking it'. Can you imagine anything worse?

 
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If that is true, then one could easily assume that no large government grants will be forth coming to fund any large scale study of what many in high Places of knowledge specify as the most reported GI disorder. To quote some figures, in 1997 John's Hopkins Magazine published an article by Melissa Hendricks, the magazine's senior science writer at the time; with the title "Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the least understood gastrointestinal illnesses". In that article Hendricks states that "from 8 to 17 percent of the population has IBS". She goes on to declare a figure of 35 Million, that's roughly 10% of the United States Population. And those figures are going on ten years old; one can only imagine what they must be now.

Finally, there are several alternative therapies which can be effective for IBS. Hypnotherapy has proved very effective, and a special form called gut-directed hypnotherapy has been developed just for digestive problems. Acupuncture may also be worth looking into.

At all stages of your teenager's illness, the best thing that you can do is be their advocate, whether it is with doctors who are not offering treatment options, teachers who are blaming your child for missing school, or family and friends who have decided that IBS is not a big deal.

It may also be worth looking at your diet. A nutritionist can advise on ways to identify any particular food 'triggers' which may be setting off your symptoms, and also on whether you might have a food intolerance to something like gluten or lactose.

The treatment The first stage of treatment may involve any medications your doctor has given you to try. This could be an anti-spasmodic, which will relax the muscles in the gut walls, or perhaps a low dose of an anti-depressant, which can help to reduce the pain.

With no way to gauge results or even speculate on upcoming possibilities, the next big news break about Irritable bowel syndrome probably wont be until a some drug company takes a new wonder drug out of clinical trials and gets FDA approval to bring it to market leaving us all to wonder if any simpler, less lucrative measures of treating IBS have been passed over in pursuit of capital gain.

You may also be given one of the new drugs specifically developed for IBS ' Lotronex for diarrhea sufferers and Zelnorm for constipation sufferers.

Sufferers sometimes find that their symptoms begin after a bout of food poisoning or an operation. Others date their symptoms back to a very stressful period in their lives, and some patients can see no clear reason for why their symptoms began.

Because of this problem, it is vital that we trust our children when they're say that they're having bowel problems. Of course, most kids will try to get out of school once in a while, but very few will pretend to have embarrassing symptoms like diarrhea or wind. In fact, it may have taken a great deal of courage for them to even admit to these symptoms in the first place. It's very important that when they do manage to talk about their problem, they receive a sympathetic ear.

It seems that the National institute of Health, which is under the National office of Health and Human Services, does indeed initiate large grants to universities and companies to conduct research. The reasons we may not be aware of these research projects might be due to privacy agreements adhered to by the government as well as those entities that apply for the grants to conduct the research. That may also be why these research projects never become media headlines. All the grant hearings and meetings take place behind closed doors. All the information that comes and goes is held in strict adherence to the guidelines as set forth by the Federal Advisory Committee. Their guidelines state that because those that might be involved in the research stand a risk of their private information being made public, grant applications and research project proposals, at least up front are handled behind closed doors.

Yet little is heard in the open press about this seemingly devastating disorder, and the term devastating is in reference to its affect on GNP. There have been several sources that have stated that no other "disease" or disorder has had such an impact on the number of work days missed. Hendricks in her article states that "Only the common cold accounts for more sick days". Searching through archives at The National Center for Health Statistics no mention of IBS has could be found in any recent statistical data.

IBS is clearly a complicated issue, so here is a basic overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. The symptoms Although the symptoms of IBS vary from person to person, there are several symptoms which are typical of the illness. The most common symptom is either recurring diarrhea or recurring constipation (although some patients also have alternating diarrhea and constipation).

Additional symptoms can include stomach pain (sometimes relieved by a bowel movement), bloating, nausea and a lot of gas. These symptoms generally go away for a short time before returning again, as IBS can work in cycles. Sufferers may experience a few weeks or even a few months of good health before the symptoms come back.

For more information visit: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

But why are the findings of Federally Funded research on Irritable bowel syndrome never made public? Why don't we hear about new developments and how the research is being developed? Why is it no new information of consequence seems to have been released about IBS in over a decade? Is it because all the research has been a "bust"? Is it possible that there are no new findings? Is the scientific community so baffled and befuddled by Irritable Bowel syndrome that no new head way has been made? Not likely, and the answer to those "why" questions might be simply answer with one word "Money".

The National Institutes of Health has two easily accessible documents published. The first, publication No. 03--4686 April 2003, which does little more then give lip service to the disorder, then early this year the institute released a new or what might be called a revised publication No. 06--693 February 2006 with more detail of what the disease is. Most of the facts in the new publication have been known for 10 to 15 years. There are a few extended statements of what is known to not be true about the disease, but not much more.

In mid 2005 the FDA put strong cautions on most of these drugs due to their potentially dangerous side effects. Several of the drugs including one that is highly publicized, Zelnorm have new FDA label warnings. The warning refers to serious consequences of diarrhea (including hypovolemia, hypotension, and syncope) that occurred both during clinical trials and during marketed use. None of the new drugs are approved for long term use.

The diagnosis There is no set test for IBS, and it is often called a diagnosis of 'exclusion'. This means that a doctor may rule out other bowel and stomach complaints such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease before giving you a diagnosis of IBS.

Because of the enormity of the effect that Irritable bowel syndrome has, and the vast number of people who suffer, the amount of potential money to be made could be an astronomical figure should a new development that leads to a cure or to the discovery of an actual cause be found

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common condition, but in some ways it is still a mystery. There are many different theories about what causes the syndrome, and different doctors will give you different reasons for your illness ' anything from stress to bad bacteria to food intolerance. And once you have been diagnosed, there is no set form of treatment ' instead, sufferers tend to try two or three supplements or therapies to find a combination that works for them.

If you are standing beside your child saying "IBS is real, painful, and depressing, but we're going to beat this together" then you should find that your teenager is far more hopeful about the future, and far more willing to talk to you about what can be a very embarrassing and painful disorder.

Irritable bowel syndrome is believed to be due to the abnormal function (dysfunction) of the muscles of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract or the nerves controlling the organs. The nervous control of the gastrointestinal tract, however, is complex. A system of nerves runs the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the anus in the muscular walls of the organs. These nerves communicate with other nerves that travel to and from the spinal cord. Nerves within the spinal cord, in turn, travel to and from the brain. (The gastrointestinal tract is exceeded in the numbers of nerves it contains only by the spinal cord and brain.) Thus, the abnormal function of the nervous system in IBS may occur in a gastrointestinal muscular organ, the spinal cord, or the brain.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for more than 15 years. She runs
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read
descriptions and reviews of the treatments available for IBS,
from drugs to alternative therapy.

Although these abnormalities in production and transport of gas could give rise to some of the symptoms of IBS, much more work will need to be done before the role of intestinal gas in IBS is clear.






About the author:
Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS since the age of 12. She runs
the website Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read
reviews of all the treatments available for IBS.


Nancy D. Pace

 
 
     
 
 





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