The results of a new Cedars-Sinai study suggest that an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut has been ‘definitively linked’ to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The study, published in the current issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences, examined samples of patients’ small bowel cultures to confirm the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – or SIBO – in more than 320 subjects.
This is the first study to use this “gold standard” method of connecting bacteria to the cause of the disease, one of the most common digestive conditions in the western world. It’s thought that 10%-20% of people experience IBS at some point, and is twice as common in women as in men.
Previous studies that have explored the role bacteria plays in the disease, have used breath tests to detect methane – a byproduct of bacterial fermentation in the gut. However, this study was the first to make the link using bacterial cultures.
In patients with IBS, more than a third were also diagnosed with small intestine bacterial overgrowth, compared to fewer than 10% of those without the disorder. Of those with diarrhoea-predominant IBS, 60% also had bacterial overgrowth.
“While we found compelling evidence in the past that bacterial overgrowth is a contributing cause of IBS, making this link through bacterial cultures is the gold standard of diagnosis,” said Mark Pimentel, director of the Cedars-Sinai GI Motility Program and an author of the study, in a statement.
“This clear evidence of the role bacteria play in the disease underscores our clinical trial findings, which show that antibiotics are a successful treatment for IBS.”
Patients with IBS suffer symptoms that can include painful bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Causes of Bacterial Overgrowth
Bacterial overgrowth occurs when the good bacteria get damaged by chronic medication, antibiotics, cortisone, contraceptives, high levels of stress and poor diet.
By taking a very good probiotic over a period of 2 to 3 months (12 weeks) and altering your diet, you can treat and successfully cure IBS as proven through various studies. As the bacterial overgrowth (bad bacteria or bad flora) in the gut thrives on sugar, you need to reduce sugar and starch consumption to the minimum. Reinstating the good bacteria with a good probiotic can be enough, but you also need to address the digestive enzymes in the gut. Digestive enzymes are responsible for the way your body absorb certain foods.
The Manna GUT Support contains both probiotics and digestive enzymes in the correct amounts to help reinstate healthy bacteria and enzymes for a strong immune system and to address IBS.