Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What in the world is going on that so many people, including myself, cannot simply eat "normally" and go to the bathroom? Has this started in the past 25 years, 50 years? What is going on? Has anyone's doctor ever proposed a theory? Anyone else have any theories?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
I don't think this has only been going on for 20 or 50 years. I think people have been suffering helplessly with various horrible bowel problems for thousands of years. People suffered horribly and helplessly with many conditions over the millenia but help is available for many of them in the modern day; we with "IBS" continue to suffer helplessly in the main! There's probably a no. of reasons for this: the complexity of the bowel, the fact that this is a very female predominant condition and our testimony has historically not been taken as seriously as men's by the medical profession (this is not feminist whining but a proven fact, I've checked the published literature on this), and the fact that bowel dysfunction is not an attractive research interest for doctors and researchers. Having said that, I would not been surprised if IBS was a bit more common nowadays, since bowel problems in their various forms do often seem to have been precipitated by a stressful event (docotrs, that's precipitated, not maintained, a whole other story).I see like this - the body has thousands of little programs and processes, and in most people, by the age of 25 or so, they'll have a few quirks with some of them. For example I had bad gladular fever at 17 and ever since then have had a permanently stuffy nose - I have rubbish sinuses now. This is mildly annoying, but does not bother me much. Others get frequent headaches - everyone has one or two little bodily processes that don't work as well as in others. I think IBS is a bit like this - except the bowel is 30 FEET long, so when something goes wrong with it, you bloody know about it! In addition, it is second in complexity only to the brain, so no one has really been able to work out what processes are going wrong. Although, again, having said that, I do also believe that some people's IBS has a more specific cause - some (partic. the IBS-D people) may have ongoing infection or colonic flora imbalance, some (partic. the IBS-C people) may have prolapse or anismus. That's my best guess anyway
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
IBS is pretty accurately described in the medical literature we have dating back to the Ancient Greek texts that survive. There is one description that was in the 1800's that could pass as the current Rome criteria.It is not new. The name IBS was coined fairly recently (like around 1970) but that doesn't mean that the disease never existed prior to that date. It used to be called spastic colitis (and some other things), but that isn't very accurate as there isn't any overt inflammation (like redness and ulcerations that you see in other colitises, coliti?) and it isn't clear that there is some abnormal spasm rather than just disregulated contractions that are still normal, just wrong time, wrong place, wrong duration or wrong pattern.If you check any traditional list of herbs people have been looking for medication to cure constipation and diarrhea in every culture for all of recorded human history.Now it is true that the modern highly processed food like diet is quite different than the whole food, whole grain, nothing is processed diets of 50 or 150 years ago. We do eat more fat, more sugar, more salt, more chemicals no human GI tract ever saw before and less fiber that pretty much any traditional diet of any culture anywhere. Some diets might have had more of one thing, but none were quite like what we eat now.So a huge difference in diet in a short period of time would likely cause some issues with the GI tract even though, in general, the human GI tract is pretty darn adaptable to just about anything, which is why we can live all over the globe on very different diets that you find in historical cultures).That being said, with adaptability comes a huge nervous system that controls, adjusts the timing of, senses the gut. If you are going to be able to eat all kinds of different things there needs to be a way to adjust everything so it is different every single meal as every different meal needs different timing, different stuff released to digest it, and will have different amounts of water to be added to/pulled out of.To get a perfect BM every time the timing has to be right to ensure you get the right amount of water pulled out so it is just right, not too hard, not too soft. And you need all the regulation of the pelvic floor to be right so you relax the right things at the right time, but only when the rectum is the right fullness, etc.It isn't a simple conveyor belt in there. It is a pretty complex system with lots of things that can go wrong.IBS has some physical changes you can detect. But it is all in the nerves and parts of the immune system that are involved in the sense, control, and regulate part of the system. This isn't the easiest part of the system to check and only now are we getting medical tests that look specifically at the control system rather than looking at the lining and saying everything is OK.Kinda like a modern car with a computer. Doesn't matter if the fuel is delivered properly to the engine and the exhaust system is working to get the stuff out, if the computer dies, the engine is dead. Up until that test all medical tests for IBS tend to be like checking the fuel filter and making sure the muffler isn't clogged and never checking the computer chip and telling people everything looks OK, I don't know why the car won't go.So that gives an impression that "no one knows why" when really a lot of researchers know what bits are broken and are working to get treatments that work on those bits and like I said we finally are starting to get some tests that will check for things that are actually wrong rather than looking at anything else and seeing it is OK.We do know that acute GI illnesses (which cause some overt inflammation) or long term ones that include overt inflammation can damage nerves in the gut wall. IBS after a GI infection is very common, and you do see some IBS in people with IBDs (where they have IBS symptoms when the IBD is in remission based on every measure, like all the ulcers are gone and the inflammation markers in the blood are normal).So to sum it up. IBS is a problem in the Enteric Nervous System (gut nerves and it is complex enough some people call the ENS the second brain) and parts of the immune system used to sense and control the gut. That is the main theory. There are some other parts (like what your colon bacteria are and did the escape to the small intestine, but that is kind of chicken and egg, can the bacteria do that when the intestines are regulated properly, or can something bonk the bacteria off bad enough they then start messing with the control systems in the person).I do think that there is a "people just never talked about in public before" that changed in the last few decades. People are more willing to be honest to their doctors and other people that something isn't quite right. A lot of people still won't tell the doctor they are having problems, nor will they tell anyone else.
 
G

·
I ask my self that question ALL the time. When I watch old movies I think to myself, "I wonder if she was really constipated when she woke up this morning too..." And it drives me nuts. That's the thing about IBS, it is a constant battle. I think one of the main reasons for this is because it is such a vague diagnosis. If someone has a broken arm, there's the explanation for the pain they are feeling in their arm. If someone has allergies, there's the explanation for why their nose is stuffy. But when you're given a diagnosis of IBS, it is basically the doctor telling you that yes, there's probably something wrong with you but I have no freaking idea what it is or how to fix it. So I will just treat one of your many symptoms, to get you out of my office. There is no explanation, no cure, nothing...and that is what makes it so difficult on the people who suffer with it on a daily basis. I wish there was more public awareness of IBS, more studies, more talk, more theories and treatments, and more recognition. With all of these scientific advances we have, I find it so unbelievable that there isn't more being done to help so many people with this problem. Take Zelnorm for example - a godsend for so many people, and then it was removed from the market with little explanation, hardly any followup, and no replacement, or effort to find a replacement.AHHH I HATE IBS.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top