IBS Treatment - Bacterial/Fungal  Infections

Gut bacteria may play a role in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you suffer from IBS, you may sometimes think that there is a war going on inside of your body. Well, the latest IBS research suggests that you might be on to something. There are times when the balance of the gut flora is disturbed, resulting in unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms.

This could happen for a variety of reasons, such as experiencing a bout of gastroenteritis (stomach flu) or as an aftereffect of a round of antibiotics. In the world of research, there are some new clues that an ongoing disturbance in the gut flora could be contributing to the discomfort you know as IBS. These clues come from four inter-related areas:


Post-Infectious IBS

Evidence is beginning to mount which indicates that IBS develops in some individuals following an acute bacterial infection in the digestive system. Studies of individuals who experience such an infection have found that approximately 25% will continue to experience unpleasant GI symptoms six months after the initial illness.

More disturbing is the finding that one out of every 10 individuals who experience a severe GI infection will end up with the ongoing disorder known as IBS. These cases, is which there is the identification of a clear link to an acute bout of digestive illness, are classified as post-infectious IBS (IBS-PI).

Lab research offers some concrete clues regarding IBS-PI. Using a procedure in which the tissue of the lining of the rectum is biopsied, investigators have found more inflammatory and serotonin related cells in the rectal tissue of the individuals who developed IBS. This provides further evidence of the role of inflammation and the brain gut connection in the maintenance of IBS symptoms.


Probiotics

Further evidence of bacterial involvement in IBS comes from the effectiveness of probiotics in reducing symptoms. Probiotics are known as “friendly” bacteria because they are thought to be helpful to the health of your digestive system. Although most of the reports of the helpfulness of probiotics for IBS comes from anecdotal reports, one particular type of probiotic, Bifidobacterium infantis, has been clinically shown to reduce IBS symptoms. It is thought that taking a probiotics supplement helps return the bacteria within the gut flora to a more optimal state of balance.

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition in which there is an abnormally high number of bacteria in the small intestine. A new and somewhat controversial theory seeks to identify SIBO as a primary cause of IBS. Proponents of the SIBO theory believe that SIBO accounts for the symptom of bloating, the changes in motility that result in diarrhea and constipation, and the visceral hypersensitivity seen in IBS patients.

Antibiotics

The last area of research which indicates that gut bacteria play a part in IBS stems from the SIBO theory and the successful use of certain antibiotics as a treatment for IBS. Two particular antibiotics are used, Rifaximin and Neomycin, with Rifaximin showing a slight edge in terms of effectiveness. These antibiotics have been chosen because they are not absorbed in the stomach, and therefore are thought to be able to attack any bacteria lurking within the small intestine. Studies have shown that these antibiotics result in significant symptom improvement and may also be associated with positive changes in the hydrogen breath test. The downsides to the use of antibiotics have to do with their high cost as well as concern that they contribute to the development of more resistant forms of bacteria. Antibiotics would only be prescribed to individuals in which the hydrogen breath test indicates the presence of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

Please note the educational material presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Consult with your doctor prior to starting any supplement regimen or making any changes to your prescribed medications.

Bacterial Infections

Candida Albicans

Candida Albicans is an opportunistic fungus (or form of yeast) that is the cause of many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain, to joint pain and gas. The Candida Albicans yeast is a part of the gut flora, a group of microorganisms that live in your mouth and intestine. When the Candida Albicans population starts getting out of control it weakens the intestinal wall, penetrating through into the bloodstream and releasing its toxic byproducts throughout the body.

As they spread, these toxic byproducts cause damage to your body tissues and organs, wreaking havoc on your immune system. The major waste product of yeast cell activity is Acetaldehyde, a poisonous toxin that promotes free radical activity in the body. Acetaldehyde is also converted by the liver into ethanol (drinking alcohol). Some people even report feeling a drunk or hungover feeling along with debilitating fatigue from the high amounts of ethanol is their system.

Do You Have Candida?

Almost everyone has Candida Albicans in their gut, and a significant proportion of us may have Candidiasis, or an overgrowth of Candida. Candida Albicans starts to cause trouble when there is some change in your body that allows it to overgrow. This change could be anything from a few courses of antibiotics, a prolonged diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar, or even something as common as a lengthy period of stress at work.

So if you suspect that you have an overgrowth, the first place to look is your lifestyle to find what could have caused this imbalance. Antibiotics? Oral contraceptives? A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates? Alcohol and drugs? Stress? Or all of the above? Eliminating all of these risk factors is a crucial step in tackling your Candida problem.

Many sufferers of Candidiasis remain undiagnosed by their doctors and unaware of their condition. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recognize the systemic problems that Candidiasis causes. They only treat the symptoms such as vaginal infection or oral thrush. Don’t be surprised if your doctor thinks it’s all in your head and sends you off with a anti-depression prescription. Some healthcare professionals don’t believe in Candida, so you need to find a doctor with an open mind, or see a naturopath, homeopathic doctor or kinesiologist.

Is Candida Albicans Always A Bad Thing?

So why is Candida a bad thing? Ordinarily it isn’t – the Candida Albicans population is kept under control by the friendly bacteria in our gut. However, when your immune system is down, Candida starts to multiply and can quickly take over. The overgrowth of Candida Albicans produces toxins that your body’s immune system can struggle to cope with. The wide-ranging side effects of this battle range from headaches and fatigue to abdominal pain and depression. The occurrence of Candidiasis has actually been increasing rapidly over the last few decades. Our modern diet of processed food and sweets is partly to blame, but so are the increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes, plus the much more frequent use of antibiotics.

Candidiasis is a debilitating condition that prevents you from waking up strong, healthy and bursting with energy. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to fight it. For lots more information on Candida Albicans, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program.


A 5 STEP PROGRAM TO BEAT CANDIDA

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If you regularly experience symptoms like headaches, brain fog, drowsiness or weight gain, click here to read more about the Ultimate Candida Diet program...