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Hay Fever Medicine Could Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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By    |   Thursday, 14 Jan 2016 11:49 AM

A new study shows that a common hay fever medication could help alleviate symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Researchers in Belgium say they have not only identified the cause of the pain associated with (irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but they have also found a medication that can help.

IBS is a common gastrointestinal disorder that afflicts about 10-to-15 percent of the U.S. population. While it doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase colorectal cancer risk, IBS can be very distressing, causing stomach pain, cramps, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

While it’s known that people with IBS have extremely sensitive bowels associated with increased pain perception, the exact cause of this hypersensitivity has long been unknown. Patients with IBS are also known to contain larger quantities of the substance histamine, but the specific link with hypersensitivity had not yet been made, the researchers said.

But the team in Belgium was able to show that how histamine works in patients with IBS makes the gut hypersensitive.   Also –and most importantly – they also found that by using a substance known as ebastine they were able to block that action. 

They performed a pilot study in which they found that patients who were treated with ebastine for 12 weeks had significantly less abdominal pain than patients from the control group. A follow-up study will test the effect of ebastine on 200 IBS patients, they said.

Currently, patients with IBS can receive treatment to help normalize their bowel pattern, but nothing has been found to help with symptoms, but the researchers hope their study, which appears in Gastroenterology, will help change that, they said.



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A new study shows that a common hay fever medication could help alleviate symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
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Thursday, 14 Jan 2016 11:49 AM
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