Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Matthew Capowski

Staff member
This thread will be used to organize information about IBS.

The following study estimates a 56% prevalence rate of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It's been queried whether or not SIBO is a cause of IBS or whether some other factor plays a role in the development of both.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis.

Spolier alert, more research needs to be done: "The role of testing for SIBO in individuals with suspected IBS remains unclear."

A study that interestingly shows reduced sensitivity (to inflammatory agents) in the gut wall of IBS sufferers:

Reduced Responses of Submucous Neurons from Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients to a Cocktail Containing Histamine, Serotonin, TNFα, and Tryptase (IBS-Cocktail)

We demonstrated for the first time reduced neuronal responses in mucosal IBS biopsies to an IBS mediator cocktail. While excitability to classical stimuli of enteric neurons was comparable to HC, the activation by the IBS-cocktail was decreased. This was very likely due to desensitization to mediators constantly released by mucosal and immune cells in the gut wall of IBS patients.

Another study indicates the potential benefit of Vitamin D for IBS (or perhaps the IBS is causing decreased vitamin D levels, but the first hypothesis appears more likely):

The data provide evidence for widespread vitamin D insufficiency in people with IBS. There may be benefit to testing IBS patients’ vitamin D status and providing supplementation. There is a positive association between vitamin D status and quality of life measures, supporting a potential interaction between vitamin D and mental health and well-being. Clinicians may consider trialing vitamin D with patients with IBS as part of a nutritional management strategy. The results suggest a larger, adequately powered trial may be justified.

The above quote is from the Abstract for the following study:

Vitamin D associates with improved quality of life in participants with irritable bowel syndrome: outcomes from a pilot trial

Michael Tierra released an interesting article titled Triphala and Elderberry for IBS:

It is only within the last three years that I can proclaim it [Ayurvedic formula Triphala] to be as near a specific for IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease as one can find.