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Irritable bowel syndrome consists of several diseases
Researchers found that global understanding and treatment pathways for so-called irritable bowel syndrome must be rethought. Irritable bowel syndrome is not just a single disease, as was previously assumed, in reality irritable bowel syndrome consists of several different diseases.
In their current study, the University of Newcastle scientists found that previous understanding of irritable bowel syndrome was not true. The symptoms are not just a single disease, but rather a combination of several diseases. The doctors published their results in the “New England Journal of Medicine” and also summarized the key findings in a press release.
Irritable bowel syndrome is not a single disease
Irritable bowel syndrome is not a single disease. Medical professionals should be aware of this in order to initiate individual treatment for each patient. There is still a strong tendency to treat irritable bowel syndrome symptoms as a single disorder, experts say. Irritable bowel syndrome is an incredibly complex condition that differs from case to case, explains Professor Nick Talley of the University of Newcastle. Therefore, the disorder must be treated like several different diseases.
What are the triggers of irritable bowel syndrome?
In their study, the research team worked to identify the various causes of irritable bowel syndrome. The triggers include intolerance to certain foods, intestinal inflammation, special bacteria in the large intestine, mental disorders and even a special gene, the expert adds.
Influence of the gut on the brain is often misunderstood
Professor Talley is world famous for his work that examined the effects of the brain on the gut. This connection is widely accepted. However, the impact of the gut on the brain is still misunderstood by many people. We have only recently begun to understand the complex nature of this relationship, the specialist explains.
Diseases of the intestine can affect brain functions
Our research has shown that many signals get from the intestine to the brain, as well as from the brain to the intestine, says the doctor. In fact, the results of the current study show that in some patients affected by irritable bowel syndrome, the intestine first becomes ill and this leads to brain dysfunction, which then manifests itself as anxiety, the researcher adds.
Ignorance of irritable bowel syndrome must be reduced
The new findings are key to better identifying and managing the disorder, the authors explain. But it is also important to emphasize the lack of understanding that currently still exists about irritable bowel syndrome. The current study helps to reduce ignorance about irritable bowel syndrome.
More research is needed
The determination of the existing complexity of the intestinal-brain relationship will hopefully lead to a better understanding of irritable bowel syndrome in the future. "The new publication is an important step, but there is still a lot more work to be done," added Professor Talley. (as)