I came across a fascinating article this morning that approaches the idea that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is actually a disorder of the brain.
It's common for those suffering from IBS to experience depression and anxiety. Emeran Mayer, MD, professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, stated, "Discovering structural changes in the brain ... demonstrates an 'organic' component to IBS and supports the concept of a brain-gut disorder. The finding removes the idea once and for all that IBS symptoms are not real and are 'only psychological.' The findings will give us more insight into better understanding IBS."
Mayer, along with colleagues at the University of California and McGill University used scans to compare the brain anatomy of over 50 women with IBS with just under 50 women who did not suffer from IBS. The comparison found thinning grey matter, which is the part of the organ that retains nutrients, in specific areas of the organ.
Check out the article for the specifics. I'm sure you'll find them as fascinating as I did!
(Picture Credit: Helen Jaques)