Do not be misled by any advertisements or promotions addressing a cure for IBS. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for irritable bowel syndrome, the primary reason being, the cause or causes leading to this disorder are either poorly understood, or put more bluntly, not understood at all.
Research Into IBS
There is ongoing research into the syndrome in an attempt to discover probable causes and possible cures, but at this point in time there are only theories to work with. Still, there’s always the possibility that in pursuing one of these theories the cause and a cure for IBS may be found.
Not A Disease, But A Collection Of Symptoms –
It should be emphasized that IBS is not a disease but a collection of symptoms, and not everyone with IBS necessarily experiences the same symptoms, or knows the cause behind the symptoms they do experience. To find a cure for IBS, or any disorder, either the cause has to be known, or it is simply stumbled upon by accident. The fact that IBS is not a disease doesn’t make finding a cure for IBS any easier. Irritable bowel syndrome sometimes accompanies certain diseases, though a direct link between IBS and any other disease has yet to be proven.
Complicating matters even further is the fact that different IBS patients often have different symptoms, and these symptoms may be brought about or “triggered” by a single factor, such as stress, a certain food, something in the environment, or by a combination of factors. In addition, since the Syndrome is long term or chronic, it can surface at any time, seemingly due to a different set of circumstances than those causing previous flare ups. This would appear to suggest there may not be any “silver bullet” on the horizon which would be a cure for IBS for anyone, much less everyone.
Theories Abound –
Among the theories being pursued in search of a cure for IBS, are:
IBS sufferers have large intestines that are simply more sensitive to irritants than is the case for most people. If what is behind this sensitivity could be determined, a cure may be in the offing.
Actions of the immune system and the nervous system affect the lining of the intestine. If one suffers from a immune system or nervous system disease or disorder, the function of the lining could be impaired and IBS could result.
The motility of the intestine, the rate at which the contents are passed though, is somehow being affected. If the rate is too slow, due to a lack of fluids, constipation results, if too fast due to an excess of fluids, the result can be diarrhea.
There is a connection not fully understood, between the brain and the digestive tract, that triggers IBS symptoms in response to certain stimuli.
The focus at the moment remains that of finding relief of the symptoms of IBS until a cure can be found. In most cases, IBS is quite treatable, The symptoms can seldom be made to go away completely, but can at least be managed in terms of their frequency and severity. Much of this management of symptoms is done through dietary means, and in some cases through managing stress, which is believed at times to play a role.