A Norwegian researcher claims to have found the best treatment for those suffering from IBS.
- This is a sensation, says Magdy El-Salhy, chief physician and professor emeritus at the University of Bergen. For patient Miriam Ekelund, 43, it was a lifesaver.
- I am a completely new person today, she says.
Miriam Ekelund was diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) in her last year of high school and when she removed gluten, she noticed that she felt much better.
After high school, she eventually got a job in aid and worked for a period in South Sudan.
This is where the nightmare began, when she discovered that she had five different parasites throughout her body. Miriam was treated with parasite killers and large amounts of antibiotics, something she used a lot in childhood due to a constant sore throat.
"The antibiotics destroyed my intestinal flora"
But this time, the heavy course of antibiotics meant she contracted an infection in her colon - and she was prescribed even more antibiotics as treatment. The infection is called Clostridioides difficile.
- I think the antibiotics destroyed my intestinal flora, says Miriam Ekelund to VG.
Back home in Norway, Miriam met a doctor who concluded that she had IBS, something a lot of Swedes suffer from.
- In the second most recent survey, 13.8 percent of the population in Sweden had IBS. Today, there are about half as many people diagnosed with IBS compared to five years ago, because the criteria have changed, says gastroenterology doctor Greger Lindberg, adjunct professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at Karolinska Institutet.
- I didn't even know what it was, says Miriam Ekelund.
This is how the body is affected by antibiotics
Rasmus Goll, researcher and chief physician at the university hospital in Tromsö, has done a lot of research on how antibiotics affect the body.
- Antibiotics are a treatment that kills the unwanted bacteria in the body that make us sick. Unfortunately, it also destroys the good and healthy bacteria we have in our bodies, he says, and sees a clear connection to Miriam Ekelund, who ingested a lot of antibiotics during her life.
- It is quite clear that if you receive antibiotics, it can leave a mark on the bacterial flora.
Fecal transplantation: "A sensation"
The researcher Rasmus Goll nevertheless points out that what is usually difficult about treating intestinal diseases is that you simply do not know what has caused the disease.
- We know that with Clostridioides difficile intestinal infection, the theory is that it depends on the antibiotic you take. It almost resolves itself when you introduce a healthy bacterial flora during fecal transplantation, says Goll.
Fecal transplantation is when you take feces from a healthy donor and insert it into a sick patient. In this way, new and healthy bacteria are introduced into a diseased intestinal flora.
The researcher also says that the patients must of course be treated with antibiotics if they need it, and the side effects can also be treated afterwards.
Magdy El-Salhy is a senior physician and professor emeritus at the University of Bergen. He has researched fecal transplantation for IBS patients and has recently published his latest research in the field.
In the research article, it appears that those who received a fecal transplant through the study two and three years ago still have a good effect from this.
- We believe we have found the cure for IBS with fecal transplantation. We see that half of those who received treatment with us have become completely healthy, the other half have improved considerably. This is a sensation, says El-Salhy.
The professor also believes his research could pave the way for fecal transplantation to treat diseases other than IBS.
- We have developed our own method for how we carry out the transplant, which differs from previous research. We believe that this method can also provide results for other diseases, says the researcher.
This is Fecal transplantation
- Fecal transplantation (FMT) is a method in which healthy bacteria from the intestinal flora of an individual are transferred to a recipient to restore the intestinal flora.
- By collecting the healthy bacteria from donated feces, these can restore the balance.
- The transplant can be carried out in several different ways, for example by colonoscopy, enema, capsules or stomach tube.
- The transplant is used to counteract diseases such as Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, colitis and other intestinal diseases.
- As alternatives to antibiotics are sought to cure intestinal diseases, FMT has become a more popular method.
The effect of fecal transplantation for IBS sufferers
- 125 people with IBS participated in the Norwegian study.
- 38 people received a placebo, 42 people received 30 grams of donor stool, and 45 received 60 grams of donor stool.
- Two years after the transplant, 26.3% of those who received a placebo, 69.1% of those who received 30 grams of donor stool, and 77.8% of those who received 60 grams of donor stool responded that they felt better.
- Three years after the transplant, 27.0% of those who received a placebo, 64.9% of those who received 30 grams of donor stool, and 71.8% of those who received 60 grams of donor stool responded that they felt better.
- Eat healthy and varied, and more unprocessed food. The intestinal flora will be affected by your diet.
- Fiber is known to be good for digestion.
- Probiotics such as Biola or other types of lactic acid bacteria are good and healthy bacteria for the gut.
- Fennel which has an antispasmodic effect on the stomach and intestines and reduces gas formation in the intestinal tract.
- Dandelion which stimulates digestion and contributes to the well-being of the stomach through its probiotic effects.
- Lemon balm soothing and is antispasmodic for stomach problems. Supports digestion and contributes to the normal function of the intestinal tract, which contributes to well-being.
- Peppermint supports the production of digestive fluids, especially bile, making the herb a good digestive aid. Through its anti-inflammation effect and soothing effect on the gut, the herb also relieves diarrhea and gas. Antispasmodic effect on stomach and intestines.
Source: Researchers Ýrr Mørch and Rasmus Goll
The article is an excerpt from Aftonbladet written by Emil K Lagnelius, Dávvet Bruun-Solbakk/VG