Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Predisposing factors may include a low-fiber diet, emotional stress, use of laxatives, a bout of infectious diarrhea, or other temporary bowel inflammation. Up to 60% of individuals with the syndrome have psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Levels of the neurotransmitter (brain chemical) serotonin have been found to be low in individuals with IBS. Diet is also a major cause of IBS. An increased sensitivity or intolerance to certain foods may trigger or worsen symptoms of IBS. Fatty foods, artificial sweeteners (sucralose or Splenda and saccharine or Sweet'N Low), chemical additives (dyes and preservatives), red meat, dairy products (milk, cheese, sour cream), chocolate, alcohol, and carbonated beverages (sodas) may trigger or aggravate episodes. Gluten contained in wheat and barley is also a common trigger for IBS. IBS may affect the absorption of nutrients, causing many individuals to have fewer nutrients available for use in the body. great site

Paxil May Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Nearly two thirds of the Paxil group -- 63.3% -- reported improvement in their overall well-being. Only 26.3% of the placebo group reported this kind of improvement. Paxil didn't help with abdominal pain or bloating. But patients who took Paxil had significantly better improvement in other symptoms -- straining, urgency, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation -- than those who took a placebo. At the end of the 12 weeks, patients could choose to continue on their medication -- without learning whether they were taking Paxil or placebo. In the Paxil group, 84% wanted to continue. Only 37% of the placebo group chose to continue treatment. After six months, 76% of the Paxil group and 36% of the placebo group were still taking their pills. These findings impress Reza Shaker (sha-CARE), MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "It is an interesting study, and I think it is a real effect of Paxil they are seeing," Shaker tells WebMD. "I like this study because it is independent -- the drug companies did not pay for it -- because it was randomized, and because it has a six-month follow-up. read full report