LATEST NEWS ON TESTING FOR
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
"Mark Pimentel and his colleagues have been exploring the pathophysiology of IBS, and have found that in many cases, the condition arises after an episode of gastroenteritis, with bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine resulting from neuromuscular damage..... Increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines have been found in the colonic mucosa of patients with IBS, especially those patients with post-infectious IBS" From two different MedPage Today articles that were published earlier this week
I bring up the subject of diagnostic testing because doctors have recently come up with a test for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). IBS is a group of poorly defined bowel symptoms that consist chiefly of gas as well as pain and bloating in the abdominal (tummy) area. IBS is also almost always associated with changes in stool consistency (diarrhea and CONSTIPATION) and something called SIBO. However, there are a wide variety of other symptoms that are frequently associated with IBS as well (DEPRESSION is one of the biggies). Others include.....
- Heartburn (ACID REFLUX)
- Urgency (the need to find a bathroom NOW)
- The Feeling that the Bowel is Never Really Empty; Even After Voiding
- General Fatigue & Generalized Muscle and Joint Pain (HERE)
- Sleep Disorders / Insomnia (HERE)
- Low Back Pain (HERE)
Up until recently, there has been no diagnostic test for IBS. However, a recent breakthrough may allow Irritable Bowel Syndrome to be diagnosed via simple a simple blood test. Viniculin is a protein that plays a part in things like cellular cohesion, cellular movement, nerve cell migration, and MECHANORECEPTION. It also happens to play a part in things like FASCIAL ADHESIONS.
A new test developed by doctors at UCLA's Cedars-Siani Hospital in Los Angeles, California, is showing a diagnostic accuracy of almost 95% for detecting the presence of IBS. The test looks for high levels of anti-viniculin antibodies. What does this tell us? Something that those in the know had been speculating about for a very long time. IBS is an Autoimmune Disease --- a disease in which your body mounts immune system responses against its own tissues, makes antibodies against them, then attacks them.
What have I been telling people for a number of years? If you want to have any hope of dealing with AUTOIMMUNITY, you had better dramatically change your diet. I highly recommend the PALEO DIET because it completely cuts out the most POTENTIALLY REACTIVE FOODS (DO NOT FAIL TO UNDERSTAND FODMAPS!) I have also been telling anyone who will listen that virtually all health problems are driven by INFLAMMATION. Inflammation leads to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (or visa versa), which in turn provides the foundation for ill health. Take this to the bank; you cannot have IBS without having a Leaky Gut. It is my experience that you cannot have IBS without having major food sensitivities as well ---- chiefly to GLUTEN and dairy (HERE is a list of Autoimmune Diseases associated with Gluten). Also, when it comes to IBS, FODMAPS are a factor in 75% of that population.
For those who are interested, a study so new it has not yet been published (it was presented by Dr. Orla Craig of Ireland's University College Cork in Ireland, at the recent American College of Gastroenterology meeting), is associating high levels of Interluekin-6 (IL-6) with both IBS and mood disorders such as DEPRESSION. IL-6 is one of the major markers used to detect INFLAMMATION. Not surprising considering we have seen Depression heavily tied to both ANTIBIOTIC USE and POOR GUT HEALTH.
As you should be starting to notice, it is looking more and more like much of our nation's sickness and disease is just one big thing (HERE). The problem is that instead of using this information to really help patients fix their Guts and CURE THESE VARIOUS DISEASES, they are using it to develop and promote ---- you guessed it ---- drugs. Not surprisingly, since IBS is an Autoimmune Disease, the drugs of choice are immuno-suppresive (drugs that suppress the Immune System).
A recent study done at the University of California in San Francisco probed the question of which anti-TNF-α drug (Tumor Necorosis Factor Alpha is a Cytokine, yet another marker of INFLAMMATION) is better for Colitis; Remicade or Humira. Be aware that the differences between these two drugs was slight, with both having about the same number of side effects. Both of these drugs are also used to treat other Autoimmune Diseases as well (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Plaque Psoriasis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, and many others).
The problem with these two drugs is, as is always the case, the side effects. Without going into all the specific side effects which you can do online yourself, you can begin to grasp how big a deal these drugs are because they are both ---- as stated earlier ----- Immuno-Suppressive. This means that they work by SUPPRESSING ONE'S IMMUNE SYSTEM. As crazy as it may sound, the inflammatory marker TNF-α (Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha) is actually a critical part of one's Immune System. Suppress the Immune System and you might relieve some symptoms, but you can also open Pandora's Box. Could be why several types of cancers are dramatically higher (as much as 300% higher) on these drugs.
Oh; there is one more thing that should be noted about this study. It was funded by Janssen Biotech of Canada (the company that just happens to market Remicade here in America) and a company called Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Salix, a North Carolina corporation that specializes in drugs and devices for Gastrointestinal Disorders, is listed as the American Corporation with the highest revenue (nearly $1,500,000) per employee. It's not a leap to imagine that if you followed the money on this little endeavor, you would find an incestuous relationship between Salix and Jenssen. In America, the cost of Remicade, which must be delivered via infusion, is between two and three thousand dollars per week, with Humira being somewhat less (Enbrel is another popular drug in this same class).
When inflammation is either not explained to patients, or "mysticized" as an unknowable phenomenon that can only be dealt with via a lifetime of drugs; that is exactly what is promoted ---- drugs. And eventually surgeries. Instead of blindly following your doctor's advice, don't you think it might be time to make some serious changes to your lifestyle? Not one person in 100 (maybe one in 1,000) has any real idea what Inflammation really is. Start changing you life by educating yourself and taking some action steps. No; I totally agree with you ---- it's not easy. But the alternative (staying on your same course of doing nothing and taking their drugs) is not likely doing you any favors over the long haul either. Use THIS INFORMATION as a starting point.