Bacterial flora in irritable bowel syndrome: role in pathophysiology, implications for management.Quigley EM.Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center, University College Cork, Cork, IRELAND.Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may, in part at least, result from a dysfunctional interaction between the indigenous flora and the intestinal mucosa which, in turn, leads to immune activation in the colonic mucosa. Some propose a role for bacterial overgrowth as a common causative factor in the pathogenesis of symptoms in IBS; other evidence points to more subtle qualitative changes in the colonic flora; both hypotheses remain to be confirmed but the likelihood that bacterial overgrowth will prove to be a major factor in IBS now seems remote. Nevertheless, short-term therapy with either antibiotics or probiotics does seem to reduce symptoms among IBS patients. It seems most likely that the benefits of antibiotic therapy are mediated through subtle and, perhaps, localized, quantitative and/or qualitative changes in the colonic flora. How probiotics exert their effects remain to be defined but an anti-inflammatory effect seems likely. While this approach to the management of IBS is in its infancy, it is evident that manipulation of the flora, whether through the administration of antibiotics or probiotics, deserves further attention in IBS.PMID: 17261128 There is an excellent and BALANCED article in the new IFFGD "Digestive Health Matters.""Gut Bacteria and Irritable Bowel Syndrome By: Eamonn, M. M. Quigley M.D., Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, IrelandBacteria are present in the normal gut (intestines) and in large numbers the lower parts of the intestine. These "normal" bacteria have important functions in life. A variety of factors may disturb the mutually beneficial relationship between the flora and its host, and disease may result. The possibility that gut bacteria could have a role in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may surprise some; there is indeed, now quite substantial evidence to support the idea that disturbances in the bacteria that populate the intestine may have a role in at least some patients with IBS. This article presents a discussion of the possible role of bacteria in IBS and various treatment approaches."http://www.aboutibs.org/Publications/currentParticipate.htmlYou can email them or call there toll free number to inquire getting this issue. It also has other really good articles in it as well.A lot of work went into these to articles to make them as easy and understandable to read as possble.