By the Numbers
By the Numbers
April 12, 2019
3 min read

IBS Awareness Month: 8 recent advances in diagnostics, treatment

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April is IBS Awareness Month. First designated by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in 1997, this initiative aims to raise awareness of the 10% to 15% of Americans who experience the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, an “often misunderstood and stigmatized condition,” according to the IFFGD.

The editors of Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease have compiled a roundup of eight recent news articles highlighting the latest research and regulatory developments in IBS.

Tele-cognitive behavioral therapies offer alternative option for refractory IBS

Administering cognitive behavioral therapy over the telephone and on the internet were both better than traditional care for patients with refractory irritable bowel syndrome, according to research published in Gut.

Hazel Anne Everitt , MBChB, BSc, MSc, PhD, of Southampton University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues wrote that many patients with IBS respond to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but access is still very limited, and questions remain about the optimal delivery method. READ MORE.

FDA approves reintroduction of Zelnorm for IBS-C in certain women

The FDA approved the reintroduction of Zelnorm, a twice-daily oral treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in women aged under 65 years, according to a company press release.

The FDA originally approved tegaserod (Zelnorm, Sloan Pharmaceuticals) in 2002 for the treatment of IBS-C in women. However, Novartis, the drug’s previous manufacturer, voluntarily pulled tegaserod from the U.S. market in 2007 due to possible cardiac-related side effects. READ MORE.

Protective bacteria found in patients with IBS

Although diversity of the gut microbiota in patients with irritable bowel syndrome was similar to controls, a systematic review published in Gastroenterology identified specific bacteria that were either present or protective in IBS.

Paul Moayyedi , PhD, MPH, AGAF, of the division of gastroenterology at McMaster University in Canada, and colleagues wrote that research over the last 10 years has positioned an altered gut microbiota as a possible cause of IBS. READ MORE.

Allergic, autoimmune diseases linked to functional GI disorders

Patients with allergic or autoimmune diseases are at higher risk for functional gastrointestinal disorders independent of psychological distress, according to research published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Nicholas J. Talley, MD, PhD, of the faculty of health & medicine at the University of Newcastle in Australia, and colleagues wrote that immune activation appears to be a significant factor in the development of FGIDs. READ MORE.


‘Super donors’ may be pivotal to the future of fecal transplants

Fecal microbiota transplantation donors who can successfully transfer important bacteria to recipients could be the future of treating diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, according to research published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

Justin M.O. Sullivan, BSc (Hons), PhD, of the University of Auckland, in New Zealand, said in a press release that the success of FMT in treating Clostridium difficile infection has led to expanded research into other diseases. READ MORE.

Pregabalin effective for treating pain, bloating, diarrhea in IBS

Pregabalin — a calcium channel alpha 2 delta ligand — helped treat visceral hypersensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and reduced symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, according to data.

Yuri A. Saito, MD, of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues wrote that visceral hypersensitivity is a common symptom of IBS and can be treated with several therapies. However, these treatments do not work for all patients. READ MORE.

Differences in gut microbiota could help diagnose IBD, IBS

Changes in a patient’s gut microbiota could help clinicians differentiate patients with inflammatory bowel disease and those with irritable bowel syndrome, according to study results.

Arnau Vich Vila, of the department of gastroenterology and hepatology at University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands, and colleagues wrote that with further research, this could lead to tools that will assist doctors in making diagnoses for both conditions. READ MORE.

Hypnotherapy viable option for relieving IBS symptoms

Hypnotherapy in both individual and group sessions helped patients with irritable bowel syndrome achieve symptoms relief, according to research published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Regardless of the severity of their symptoms or their subtype, patients with IBS should consider hypnotherapy treatment, Carla E. Flik, PhD, of the Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care and University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands, said in a press release. READ MORE.