The latest health news:  the results of  a Cedars-Sinai study, in collaboration with researchers in the University of Athens and Sismanogleion Hospital in Athens, on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) show that the disease is definitely linked to an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut. Tested with cultures from the small intestine, a real connection of bacteria that causes IBS has been clearly defined, where in the past, studies would indicate that it was related to bacteria, it is now proven to be so.

Over 30 million people suffer from the discomfort, pain, and bloating associated with the disease in the United States alone. The tests concluded that fecal samples of subjects showed the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.  The study was published in this current issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences stating, “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.”

IBS is considered the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the United States, which in addition to the above symptoms, see patients suffering from bouts of constipation and diarrhea. The disease also leads to a lowered self-esteem because of the symptoms attached to it.

In clinical trials, Rifaximin, an antibiotic, has shown to be an effective treatment for IBS, because it targets the problem as the antibiotic is only absorbed in the gut. As with most diseases, the medical community has always focused on finding treatments to deal with the symptoms and not their root cause, but this shows definite progress, finally closing in on the actual cause.  Patients who have taken the antibiotic relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms even after treatment is stopped.