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Antibiotic Battles IBS

People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome frequently experience bouts of diarrhea and abdominal discomfort that are hard to treat. Physicians have been unable to determine a cause for this condition and have tried a variety of treatments. These include diet, fiber and medications such as laxatives or anti-diarrheal drugs. Antispasmodics and antidepressants have also been tried with mixed results. According to a new study, the antibiotic rifaximin can provide long-lasting relief. This antibiotic is not absorbed from the gut and is approved for treating travelers’ diarrhea. The participants took either antibiotic or placebo for two weeks. Many of those who got rifaximin reported less bloating, abdominal pain and loose stools for up to 10 weeks afterwards.
[New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 6, 2011]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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