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New form of irritable bowel syndrome identified

6th September 2013

US scientists have expanded understanding of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by identifying a distinct new form of the disease.

The University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) study described a disease type called post-diverticulitis IBS, which occurs after an acute bout of diverticulitis – a condition characterised by the emergence of pouches in the lining of the colon.

These pouches often become inflamed, causing pain and infections, but many patients continue to suffer from ongoing symptoms linked to IBS even after the diverticulitis has been treated, as well as mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

It could suggest that diverticular disease should be classified as a chronic illness, rather than an acute condition marked by abrupt complications.

Senior author Dr Brennan Spiegel, an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said: "This study expands our understanding a little bit about what might cause IBS … By learning more, we might be able to expand the therapies we can use on these patients."

IBS affects between ten and 20 percent of people at some point during their lives, with symptoms usually appearing for the first time when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801634805-ADNFCR

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