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IBS and bloating: When the gut microbiota gets out of balance
Date:3/9/2014

(March 10, 2014) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) belongs to the most widespread diseases in Western countries, causing up to sixty per cent of the workload of gastrointestinal physicians. One of the most frequent symptoms of IBS is bloating, which reduces quality of life considerably as patients perceive it as particularly bothersome. For quite a long time, IBS was believed to be a primarily psychological condition.

"Contrary to this view, recent findings suggest that IBS is linked to clearly detectable gut microbiota alterations. Additionally, bloating can be related to specific kinds of diet, thus opening up promising paths towards an efficient disease management," says Professor Giovanni Barbara (University of Bologna, Italy).

This was one of the topics presented at the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit in Miami, FL, USA. On March 8-9, 2014, internationally leading experts discussed the latest advances in gut microbiota research and its impact on health.

IBS is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, causing several symptoms, which include abdominal pain, bowel movements that cause discomfort, and in nearly all patients bloating. IBS affects up to 20 percent of the population in Western countries. This condition represents up to 10 percent of the workload of family physicians and up to 60 per cent of that of gastroenterology practitioners. Within the range of IBS troubles, it is bloating that bothers patients most.

A microbiota-based condition

For quite a long time, not only bloating, but IBS in general was frequently perceived as a mainly psychological condition, mostly affecting young, predominantly female and anxious patients with no detectable abnormalities in their bowels. Consequently, the disease burden was often attributed to an imaginary disorder, and the treatment was far from satisfactory.

"Thanks to new diagnostic insights and a rapidly growing knowledge a
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Contact: Aimee Frank
afrank@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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