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"Irritable bowel syndrome associated with brain changes"A study shows that some women with irritable bowel syndrome have specific structural changes in their brains. (Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times / July 22, 2010)Irritable bowel syndrome has been a tough disorder to understand. Studies have failed to show any structural problems in the gut that would account for the symptoms of pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. However, the disorder is real, affecting as many as 15% of Americans.A new study has found a possible connection between IBS and the brain. Researchers at McGill University and UCLA used MRI scans to reveal changes in the brains of women with the disorder. The researchers took MRI scans of 55 IBS patients and 48 healthy women for comparison. The women with IBS tended to have different amounts of brain gray matter in certain areas; for example, decreases in gray matter in parts of the brain that govern attention and areas that suppress pain.A link between the brain and chronic pain has been identified in other disorders, such as lower back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia and hip pain. The study on IBS suggests that, like these other conditions, the problem may be due to the brain's inability to inhibit the pain response."Discovering structural changes in the brain, whether they are primary or secondary to the gastrointestinal symptoms, demonstrates an 'organic' component to IBS and supports the concept of a brain-gut disorder," Emeran Mayer, a co-author of the study at UCLA, said in a news release. "Also, the findings remove the idea once and for all that IBS symptoms are not real and are 'only psychological.' The findings will give us more insight into better understanding IBS."By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/news/health/boostershots/la-heb-bowel-20100722,0,2369726.story
 

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"Also, the findings remove the idea once and for all that IBS symptoms are not real and are 'only psychological.' http://www.latimes.com/news/health/boostershots/la-heb-bowel-20100722,0,2369726.story
I don't understand the above conclusion. Granted, I haven't seen the whole article, but the conclusion seems premature at best...and confusingly wrong at worst. They only studied a handful of women with IBS who "tended to" show these differences. Translation: not all of them necessarily demonstrated the differences in gray matter. Also, I thought the consensus was that separating psychological function from brain function/structure is not entirely possible. Perhaps IBS started because of psychological reasons when my brain was developing or when it was pruning neurons and that caused the difference in brain structure. Or perhaps genetics led to this difference and as a result I have psychological dysfunction that directly affects my gut.I am neither encouraged or impressed, but then today is a "glass half empty" kind of day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
 

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I don't understand the above conclusion. Granted, I haven't seen the whole article, but the conclusion seems premature at best...and confusingly wrong at worst. They only studied a handful of women with IBS who "tended to" show these differences. Translation: not all of them necessarily demonstrated the differences in gray matter. Also, I thought the consensus was that separating psychological function from brain function/structure is not entirely possible. Perhaps IBS started because of psychological reasons when my brain was developing or when it was pruning neurons and that caused the difference in brain structure. Or perhaps genetics led to this difference and as a result I have psychological dysfunction that directly affects my gut.I am neither encouraged or impressed, but then today is a "glass half empty" kind of day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
 

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Can i just point something out? I'm not saying it's wrong, just that even when i've been at my happiest my i.b.s didn't improve at all. So as for it being down to stress, i don't fully trust it. I've had better results from starving. lol
 

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Can i just point something out? I'm not saying it's wrong, just that even when i've been at my happiest my i.b.s didn't improve at all. So as for it being down to stress, i don't fully trust it. I've had better results from starving. lol
FWIW my D was started by an abundance od cigarettes. Presumably inflammatory in nature, nothing dietary ever touched it. There are a small set of diparate symptoms that presumably trace back to a number of causes. Brain function may well be one of them. I am living proof that habitual nicotine use can be another. I am not so narxisstic to believe that there aren't tons of other causes.Mark
 
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