Excessive bacteria in the small intestine may be the culprit causing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes painful symptoms in millions of Americans.
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles reported the link in a study of 202 patients with IBS who took a specialized breath test to detect the presence of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Excessive bacteria were detected in 78% of the patients, a finding that study author Mark Pimentel, MD, said demonstrated "a strong association between the two conditions."
Voelker R. Bacteria and Irritable Bowel. JAMA. 2001;285(4):401. doi:10.1001/jama.285.4.401-JQU10000-2-1