By the Numbers

By the Numbers

April 08, 2016
4 min read

10 news highlights to mark IBS Awareness Month

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month, first designated by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in 1997.

Although IBS has a high global prevalence (more than 11% according to recent estimates), it remains poorly understood. To mark IBS Awareness Month, Healio Gastroenterology has compiled ten popular news items from recent advancements in IBS research.

1. Migraine, tension headaches may be genetically linked to IBS

Migraine and tension headaches may have genetic links in common with IBS, according to results from a preliminary study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

“Since headache and irritable bowel syndrome are such common conditions, and causes for both are unknown, discovering a possible link that could shed light on shared genetics of the conditions is encouraging,” Derya Uluduz, MD, of Istanbul University in Turkey, said in a press release. Read more

2. Microbiome-based therapy meets primary endpoint in phase 2 trial of patients with IBS-C

Mark Pimentel

SYN-010, a microbiome-based therapy in development for patients with IBS with constipation, significantly reduced methane production and improved other symptoms in its second phase 2 clinical trial, the manufacturer announced.

“These topline data demonstrate the positive effect of SYN-010 on decreasing gut methane production, abdominal pain and bloating, and improving stool frequency and quality of life scores in IBS-C patients who are breath-methane positive,” Mark Pimentel, MD, director of the GI Motility Program and Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai, and chairman of Synthetic Biologics’ IBS-C Clinical Advisory Board, said in a press release. Read more

3. Low FODMAP diet may significantly improve IBS symptoms

Researchers observed that dietary fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides and monosaccharides and polyols — or FODMAPs — were linked to symptoms of IBS and variations in the metabolome, according to results from a controlled, single blind study.

Further, FODMAPs were also shown to alter histamine levels and the microbiota in subsets of patients. Read more

4. Global IBS prevalence among adults difficult to determine

William E. Whitehead

Data from a literature review demonstrate that despite the numerous studies performed worldwide to ascertain IBS prevalence among adults, study methodologies are not uniform, leaving clinicians with a lack of reliable global prevalence data.

“The assessment of prevalence rates is important for understanding the distribution and burden of disease, for the evaluation of treatment modalities, to provide incentive for the development of new drugs and for the allocation of health care resources and research funding,” William E. Whitehead, PhD, from the Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues wrote. Read more

5. Patients with IBS-D benefit from gluten-free diet

A dietitian-directed gluten-free diet was found to be beneficial for patients with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea when studied in patients who had not previously considered a gluten-free diet.

The negative or positive human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele DQ2/8 genotype of each patient affected which symptoms improved. Read more

6. Ebastine reduces symptoms in patients with IBS

Guy E. Boeckxstaens

Ebastine, a histamine receptor H1 antagonist, was found to reduce visceral hypersensitivity, symptoms and abdominal pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome in a recent study.

Based on previous data, “we hypothesized that visceral hypersensitivity in IBS results from TRPV1 sensitization induced by mast cell mediators, in particular by histamine,” Guy E. Boeckxstaens, MD, PhD, from the department of clinical and experimental medicine, Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium, and colleagues wrote. Read more

7. Depression, somatization linked to postprandial symptoms in IBS patients

Psychosocial morbidities are linked to higher levels of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, and specifically, depression and somatization are linked to increased postprandial symptoms, according to recent research.

“These findings are relevant to increase our understanding of the multifactorial nature of IBS, as well as clinically in that postprandial worsening of symptoms should lead not only to dietary, but also psychological assessment focusing on depression and somatization,” the researchers wrote. Read more

8. Viberzi improves symptoms of IBS-D

Anthony J. Lembo

Viberzi safely and effectively reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, according to the results of two phase 3 trials.

“IBS-D is a chronic condition that affects millions of Americans that has limited treatment options,” Anthony J. Lembo, MD, from Harvard Medical School, told Healio Gastroenterology. Viberzi (eluxadoline, Allergan) “is a novel mixed mu-opioid agonist and a delta-opioid antagonist that is administered orally. In the phase 3 clinical trials eluxadoline improved IBS-D symptoms.” Read more

9. High proportion of individuals with IBS have vitamin D deficiency, may benefit from supplementation

A majority of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome have low concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, which are positively associated with quality of life, according to recent study results.

“Our work has shown that most IBS sufferers in our trial had insufficient levels of vitamin D,” Bernard Corfe, PhD, from the University of Sheffield’s molecular gastroenterology research group in the UK, said in a press release. “Furthermore, there was an association between vitamin D status and the sufferer’s perceived quality of life, measured by the extent to which they reported impact on IBS on life.” Read more

10. Comprehensive self-management program benefits IBS patients

A comprehensive self-management program designed to improve quality of life and reduce symptoms in patients with IBS resulted in sustained changes in behavior after 1 year, according to new research data.

“There is increasing evidence that psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapies, and dietary management, are effective strategies for the management of patients with [IBS],” the researchers wrote. Read more