A study of more than 2,500 IBS patients found peppermint oil, antispasmodics and fiber were effective for treating IBS and showed no side effects. Researchers say these older treatments should be considered as first-line treatment for some patients.
Philips produced a prototype of an "intelligent pill" that locates and measures acidity in the abdominal area via a sensor and directly administers medication to treat Crohn's disease and other digestive-tract problems. The iPill, which features a microprocessor and a drug reservoir, allows for the use of lower-dose medicines and cuts the risk of adverse reactions, the company said.
Cooking for someone with food allergies or celiac disease means understanding there is no cure but there are substitutes. For instance, instead of wheat, try pastas and noodles made with quinoa, corn, potato, rice and beans -- now more readily available at stores. Check out other substitutes, ingredients to watch out for and recipes.
Bloating -- defined as a swelling or feeling of tightness in the abdominal area and often accompanied by abdominal distension and excess gas -- generally is harmless, if uncomfortable, but sometimes can indicate a food intolerance or underlying problem, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Some tips to avoid or cure bloating include avoiding sugars, fruit, yeast and alcohol, as well as chewing food slowly and eating smaller meals.
Some health experts question the health benefits attributed to ingesting friendly bacteria, or probiotics. They say prebiotics, which are present naturally in food, work to feed friendly bacteria already in the gut, rather than adding to the mix. Emerging research indicates that supplements of prebiotics may have health benefits too.