People suffering from IBS sometimes experience symptoms of abdominal cramping and either diarrhoea or constipation or a combination of both. Although the aetiology of IBS is still unknown, there is growing suspicion that there is a persistent, mild inflammatory state with changes in mucosal function or structure and an associated imbalance of intestinal flora (Camilleri 2006). This imbalance can lead to inefficient metabolism of nutrients and the formation of gas and short-chain fatty acids, both of which induce propulsive contractions and accelerate colonic transit or enhance fluid and sodium absorption in the colon. As such, clinical trials have been conducted to clarify the role of probiotics in this condition, so far producing promising results.
In a 4-week, double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 60 people with IBS were treated with L. plantarum or placebo. The patients recorded their own gastrointestinal function, starting 2 weeks before the study and continuing throughout the study period. Twelve months after the end of the study, all patients were asked to complete a questionnaire. The study showed significant reductions in intestinal flatulence in the treatment group compared with placebo. At the 12-month follow-up, patients in the test group maintained a better overall gastrointestinal function than control patients (Nobaek et al 2000).
In another study, 40 patients were randomly assigned either L. plantarum 299V in liquid suspension or placebo over a period of 4 weeks. All patients treated with the probiotic reported resolution of their abdominal pain as compared with 11 patients from the placebo group. There was also a trend towards normalisation of stool frequency in constipation for 6 of 10 patients treated with the probiotic compared with 2 of 11 treated with placebo. With regard to all IBS symptoms, an improvement was noted in 95% of patients in the active group compared with 15% of patients in the placebo group (P< 0.0001 ) (Niedzielin etal 2001).
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Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.