IBS, A New Approach
Dr. Barrett’s new treatment approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) has been developed around addressing the likely source or cause of IBS rather than what is and has been the typical protocol treatment of only targeting the symptoms.
Through his expertise and retrospective analysis, Dr. Barrett concurs with other experts in the field deeming the root cause in most cases of IBS to be the overgrowth of intestinal bacteria. Additionally determining that a significantly large subset of patients with IBS have dramatically improved their symptoms or have been eliminated entirely with variations of antibiotic therapy.
In alignment with new medical research on the rise, Dr. Barrett has a specific treatment protocol consisting of a combination of short-term antibiotics, a series of long-term probiotics and the maintenance of a proper high fiber diet.
Through continued success of his new treatment approach, Dr. Barrett has found that using the combination of short-term antibiotics and probiotics has a much higher success rate in reducing the major symptoms than that of using either antibiotic or probiotic alone.
Dr. Barrett’s Study
“7 out of 10 patients in the study said that they are now living a normal life.”
Dr. Barrett conducted a retrospective analysis based on 98 patients seen within an 18-month time period. All patients met the criteria for IBS all having experienced their symptoms for one year or longer and in some cases over ten years time. The ages ranged from 18 to 88 years old and half of the patients were between the ages of 35-59.
The patients were given treatment plans that followed a combination of short-term antibiotics, a long-term series of probiotics and maintained a proper high fiber diet. Of the 98 patients, 75% noticed almost a complete resolution of their symptoms, 15% noticed a marked improvement and 10% reported minimal changes.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common chronic gastrointestinal disorder diagnosed by Gastroenterologists and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians. It’s symptoms take on a prevelent role in a person’s life and are distruptive to their daily routine. Thus, ulitmately lessening the quality of life. IBS is characterized by reocurring symptoms that are most prominently as abdominal discomfort,
altered bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, or both occurring for a minimum of three months.
The symptoms of IBS and can take on multiple forms at various levels of intensity and can occur at unpredictable times.
• Changes in bowel habits
• Abdominal pain
• Alternating of constipation and diarrhea
IBS is the most common chronic disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians. It is estimated that 10-14%, almost 1 out of every 5 people, of the entire population suffer from IBS. Although, it is reported that only 1 in 4 people with IBS see a doctor.
An astonishingly 5-7% go misdiagnosed or are treated ineffectively. These people continue to live in silence enduring what is described as debilitating life conditions.
Who is most susceptible to IBS?
Studies dictate that IBS is 1.5 to 2 times more common in women than in men. The reason why women are more commonly affected has not yet been medically discovered. However, some research leads us to believe that it is not due to hormonal differences, but rather relates to how women and men process sensations from the intestines.
Most commonly diagnosed in people under the age of 50 and occurs before the age of 35 for 50% of the people.
The frequency of IBS has shown to be the same across racial, ethnic and national boundaries.
New Evidence of the Source
An increasing number of scientific studies and clinical trials are emerging through medical research facilities and organizations nation wide placing much needed concentration on the research of the cause and effective targeted treatments of IBS.
The results of this new data are showing conclusive evidence in corroboration with Dr. Barrett’s new treatment approach and hypothesis to the likely root cause.
In order to critically evaluate the rapidly expanding research on IBS, the American Journal of Gastroenterology published their review on the management of IBS in 2009 updating their data from only 2002.
A task force, formed by the American College of Gastroenterology performed an Evidence Based Systematic Review on the Management of IBS citing evidence to the efficacy of antibiotic treatments along with developing statements pointing to the overgrowth of intestinal bacteria as the source.
“The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) IBS Task Force updated the 2002 monograph because new evidence has emerged…”
“…. this monograph was developed to educate physicians about its epidemiology, diagnostic approach and new treatments. (Volume 104 Supplement 1 January 2009, S1)
This is a tremendous step aiding in better awareness that IBS can effectively be treated and that there are answers and solutions for the millions of Americans that suffer on a daily basis from IBS.
The majority of IBS cases CAN be treated successfully. If you or anyone you know has IBS or experiences like symptoms struggling on a daily basis, send this link to a friend or contact the DHCB and request a consult with Dr. Barrett and learn more about how to finally improve the quality of your life.
Studies have shown that that when compared to patients with diabetes, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), as well as individuals who have no gastro intestinal disorders, patients with IBS had significantly higher degrees of impairment in their quality of life.
By this is meant, their physical functioning, their ability to participate in the activities of daily living, their level of emotional distress, as well as their sexual functioning and all the other components that go into a happy and healthy normal life without disease. This is the true impact of IBS and is an important reason that it deserves serious attention from the medical community.
IBS is also a costly disease, not only in terms of money spent for health care but also money lost because of a patient’s inability to work while they have symptoms. It is estimated that IBS causes a loss of $30 to $90 billion per year in productivity. After the common cold, IBS is the second most frequent reason people take days off from work in the United States. This makes IBS a very important issue for the society in general, which clearly needs to be addressed by the medical community.
Have you been having digestive problems that you can’t explain?
If you experience them frequently, or have been living with them for a while, they could be symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
No matter what your results are, print them out to discuss them with Dr. Barrett. Together, you can identify and treat what’s causing your symptoms.