Navigation Links
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Date:11/13/2008

These older treatments may sometimes work best, researchers say

THURSDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For some patients, the best therapy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be older, cheaper drugs such as fiber, antispasmodics and peppermint oil, a new study finds.

According to researchers, these simple treatments have fallen out of favor because of the availability of newer (and more expensive) drugs, some of which have been taken off the market due to safety concerns.

But more traditional therapies should become first-line treatments in guidelines for the treatment of IBS, the experts say.

"IBS can be difficult for physicians to treat," noted lead researcher Dr. Alex Ford, from McMaster University, Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada.

"New drugs are always being developed, but recent ones such as alosetron and tegaserod have been withdrawn, and are now only available on a restricted basis, and renzapride has not been shown to be effective," he said. On the other hand "older drugs, which are cheap, safe, and in some cases available over the counter, appear to be effective in IBS."

The report is published in the Nov. 14 online edition of the BMJ.

As many as 45 million Americans may have IBS, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders reports. Between 60 percent and 65 percent of IBS sufferers are women.

In addition to pain and discomfort, people with IBS experience chronic or recurrent constipation or diarrhea -- or bouts of both. While the exact cause of the condition isn't known, symptoms seem to result from a disturbance in the interaction of the gut, brain and nervous system, according to the foundation.

For the study, Ford's team reviewed trials that compared IBS treatment with fiber antispasmodics and peppermint oil to a placebo or no treatment. The trials included more than 2,500 IBS patients.

The researchers found that fiber, antispasmodics and peppermint oil were effective treatments for IBS. Specifically, that meant that to prevent IBS symptoms in one patient, 11 needed to be treated with fiber, five with antispasmodics, and 2.5 with peppermint oil.

There were no serious side effects associated with any of these treatments, the researchers note.

Peppermint oil appeared to be the most effective therapy of those reviewed, the researchers found.

In trials comparing fiber with placebo, insoluble fiber such as bran was not effective. Instead, only soluble fiber, such as ispaghula husk, reduced symptoms. For antispasmodics, the most effective was hyoscine. This should be used first among antispasmodics, Ford's group advised.

"Physicians, particularly those in primary care, who are being asked to take increasing responsibility for the management of IBS, should consider the use of these agents as first-line therapies for IBS," Ford said.

Dr. Roger Jones, from Kings College London and author of an accompanying journal editorial, welcomed the study.

"These treatments might be slightly more effective than recently thought and they are worth trying," Jones said.

For some patients with pain and diarrhea the antispasmodics may be useful. Patients with constipation should try fiber and for other patients, peppermint oil may be helpful, Jones said.

"If you have IBS which is not under reasonably good control or you are not happy with your symptom profile, you should see your primary-care doc or gastroenterologist for review and perhaps remind them that there is new evidence about the effectiveness of these traditional medicines and you would like to give it a go," Jones said.

"Alternatively, if you feel sufficiently well-informed and confident, you can go do it yourself and get these treatments at the pharmacy," Jones added.

More information

For more information on IBS, visit the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.



SOURCES: Alex Ford, M.D., McMaster University, Health Sciences Centre, Ontario, Canada; Roger Jones, M.D., Kings College London, London; Nov. 14, 2008, BMJ, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Filtrona Fibertec Ningbo, China Plant Celebrates Expansion
2. ConAgra Mills Puts Focus on Fiber at International Baking Industry Expo
3. OmniGuide Announces Launch of LightPath(TM) CO2 Laser Fiber
4. More Fiber, Less Fat Help Prevent Ovarian Cancer
5. Fibers in Semen Help HIV Penetrate Cells
6. DuPont Selects South Carolina Site for Planned $500 Million Investment to Expand Production of High-Performance Kevlar(R) Fiber
7. Fish Oil Flounders, But Fiber Might Lower Stroke Risk
8. Have Your Cookie and Fiber too With Nanas Newest Cookie Bar
9. Investigational drug tested for preventing muscle fiber death in muscular dystrophy
10. Gel Enables Severed Spinal Cord Fibers to Regrow
11. Quench Your Summer Thirst...With Fiber
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... Dr. David Mahon ... Henderson, NV 89052. Dr. Mahon was named a 2017 Top Patient Rated Henderson ... is an online directory that recognizes local physicians and dentists who have earned high ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Healthcare Research ... those in the fight against cancer, has produced a seminal study that asked ... will release top-line findings in a webinar, Defining Compassionate Care Through the Voices ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Top cosmetic and periodontal dentist Dr. ... with a new Indiegogo campaign . Individuals are now able to contribute to ... Angeles area, either as a participating patient or through an Indiegogo donation. The entirety ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Va. (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... or problems. He has also continued to spiritually evolve, which is the purpose of ... book “ Our Spiritual Truths ” (published by Balboa Press) attempts to guide readers ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Stem cell therapy has made ... is so cutting edge, in fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... successful patient outcomes in certain clinical stem cell procedures have shown that this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. ... Menopause Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides drug pricing data ... following questions: What are the key drugs ... the Global Menopause market? What are the unit prices ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Regulus Therapeutics Inc . ... development of innovative medicines targeting microRNAs, today announced it ... results on Thursday, March 2, 2017 after the market ... and webcast on March 2, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. ... 2016 financial results and provide a general business update.  ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- The fast-growing cannabis market is expected to ... . According to the 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook, published by ... 283,422 jobs by 2020, with an implied growth rate of ... The accelerating pace of cannabis legalization is considered as the ... which will further create more business ventures and boost the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: