Probiotics may ease kids’ belly aches (especially IBS)

Children's Health, Parenting
In a past blog about probiotics, I told you, "Friendly Bacteria (Probiotics) Help Calm Colicky Babies and May Help Constipated Babies." Now, an Italian study is suggesting that a daily dose of "friendly bacteria" (probiotics) could provide relief for kids suffering from the cruel pain of a CHRONIC tummy ache. Here are the details from a report in Reuters Health: Yet little evidence exists to date for helpful medications or dietary changes, Dr. Ruggiero Francavilla of the University of Bari, in Italy, told Reuters Health in an e-mail. Given recent research hinting at the therapeutic value of probiotics for adults with stomach problems, particularly a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome that can cause pain and abnormal bowel movements, Francavilla and his team wanted to see if good bacteria might benefit…
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Two-week course of antibiotic may benefit patients with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

Health Headlines, Medical Economics
In the category of a study that will change my practice in the area of giving patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) another treatment option, is a study discussed in a Los Angeles Times report that says, "A two-week treatment with an antibiotic" manufactured by Salix Pharmaceuticals "can ease overall symptoms in many patients with irritable bowel syndrome for at least 10 weeks and perhaps for much longer, according to a pair of clinical trials of more than 1,200 patients." The paper appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that the "proportion of patients who benefited -- about 11% -- was modest, but the fact that any at all were helped validated the idea that intestinal bacteria play a role in the onset of irritable bowel syndrome, commonly…
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St. John’s wort may not help patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Alternative Medicine
St. John's wort (SJW) is most commonly used to improve mood and treat depression. St. John's wort affects neurotransmitters similar to conventional antidepressants. However, it also affects serotonin receptors in the gut, similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) drugs such as alosetron (Lotronex). Many IBS patients are now trying St. John's wort. But new research is discouraging. It shows that taking a specific St. John's wort extract (St. John's Wort Extract Extra Strength, Enzymatic Therapy) 450 mg twice daily is no more effective than placebo for reducing symptoms after 12 weeks of treatment. In fact, some patients did worse on St. John's wort compared to placebo. The experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database tell physicians, "For now, explain to IBS patients that St. John's wort doesn't appear to be a…
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