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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Friday, October 29, 2010 // Uncategorized

2/2/2009 12:00:00 AM

I’ve had issues with my laptop that I hope have been resolved.  They made it difficult to blog.
I’m back..  My New Year’s resolution was to quit taking any vitamins.  So far, I’m sticking to it.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common cause of abdominal pain in the United States.  It usually involves abdominal distention, alteration of normal bowel habits, usually either constipation and/or diarrhea, bloating and pain that is relieved by having a bowel movement.  I’m including a link to UpToDate’s summary on IBS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome The treatment of IBS is subject to some some debate.  Fortunately, there is a new study that supports the use of some older prescription medication as well as some over the counter treatments.

Peppermint Oil, Antispasmodics, and Fiber Effective Against IBS
Peppermint oil, antispasmodics, and fiber are more effective than placebo in treating irritable bowel syndrome, according to a meta-analysis published online in BMJ.
Researchers analyzed 35 randomized, controlled trials of patients with IBS who received one of these treatments for at least a week. They found that persistent IBS symptoms were less common among patients taking peppermint oil (number needed to treat, 2.5), antispasmodics (NNT, 5), or fiber (NNT, 11), compared with those on placebo. Among patients taking fiber, the effect was particularly strong with ispaghula husk, while bran had no effect.
Citing study limitations, an editorialist says that “it may be a little premature” to update guidelines with recommendations on these treatments, as the authors suggest.
BMJ article (Free)

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