IBS and Food Poisoning

IBS a Threat to GI… Joe

A study has revealed a link between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food poisoning and shows that military personnel are at a much higher risk for the disorder than the rest of the population.

IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the United States, afflicting an estimated 30 million people. Studies conducted at Cedars-Sinai demonstrate that food poisoning triggers IBS through a cascade of neurotoxic events that affects the small intestine and ultimately leads to bacterial buildup.

“The better we understand this disease, the more tools we will have for fighting it,” says Mark Pimentel, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai GI Motility Program and a primary investigator on the study. “We have now identified the primary toxin believed to trigger the transition to IBS. Understanding this toxin and its effects might eventually lead to a cure for IBS.”

In a separate study, using a mathematical model, researchers found that food poisoning—gastroenteritis—may account for the majority of IBS cases. The study also predicts a greater chance of developing IBS among populations at a higher risk for gastroenteritis, such as deployed military personnel. These high-risk groups also develop the disease faster—within six months of food poisoning, compared with 10 years for the general population.