IBS treatment. As you know, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the more common and chronic gastrointestinal problems, affecting the health of up to 20 percent of the Western world.
The symptoms of IBS — bloating, constipation, diarrhea, cramping, gas and abdominal pain — are certainly uncomfortable and embarrassing, but there are treatment options available.
You can read more about how to get rid of constipation here.
Previously, we’ve discussed research that has shown how conventional medicine has treated IBS with drugs like mexiletine, part of an antiarrhythmic class of medications that are a mixed blessing due to side effects, some of which can be adverse.
A recent study featured in Gut and Family Practice News has ruled out another IBS drug: Masalazine (Pentasa), an anti-inflammatory prescription drug that belongs to the aminosalicylate class and is used to treat ulcerative colitis.
Interestingly, some of the known side effects of mesalazine include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, which can worsen ulcerative colitis too. And, because this medication is similar to aspirin, young children and teens shouldn’t take it if they have the flu and chickenpox or have received a recent vaccine.
None of these are “good” side effects for a drug meant to treat IBS.
In a double-blind study, 115 patients who finished a trial took a daily dose of mesalazine or a placebo for 12 weeks. Patients maintained a “stool” diary, had appointments with researchers during the study and gave stool and sigmoid biopsy samples before and at the end of the trial.
Although a small group of patients experienced significant improvements in some areas, scientists determined there was no advantage between taking mesalazine and a placebo.
For most patients, taking mesalazine didn’t improve stool consistency or abdominal pain compared to the placebo during the final two weeks of the study. In fact, a worsening of IBS symptoms (diarrhea and abdominal pain) was the most common problem experienced by patients taking mesalazine.
Drugs like mesalazine and mexiletine merely treat symptoms of IBS but don’t get to the root cause of the problem: restoring the balance of beneficial bacteria that builds the foundation of good gut health.
The good news: Protecting and improving the diversity of your gut health can be as safe and convenient (no side effects) as taking a probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Advanced Junior, made from multiple strains of beneficial bacteria plus the prebiotic fructooligosaccharide.