Am I the only one who talks about poo?
One of our favourite (NOT!) symptoms of FM is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). New research has shown that IBS may be tied to abnormal brainstem function. UCLA researchers used functional MRI to monitor women’s brainstems while using a balloon-type device to cause rectal distention. Before distention, they’d give the women a visual cue.
The women in the control group had a significant drop in brain activity after the visual cue, which the researchers say is a “down-regulation of pain-signalling systems.” You know how you prepare yourself for an injection – this is how your body prepares itself for pain it knows is coming and also knows isn’t dangerous.
However, the brains of women with IBS didn’t have the same activity drop-off, which researchers say shows they can’t stave off expected pain like most people can. The IBS group also had stronger brain reactions during distention.
It was concluded that the brains of some pain patients react differently to pain than ‘normal’ people, though (once again) they say more research needs to be done. “If we can identify receptors and genes associated with these abnormal brain responses, we should improve both identification of predisposed patients and development of effective remedies,” says Emeran A. Mayer, M.D., who worked on the study.
Researchers say their findings could also help uncover underlying causes and possible treatments for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
- Obsessed with Poo! (fibromodem.com)
- Understanding and Managing IBS Pain (everydayhealth.com)
- And It All Comes Back to the Poo! (fibromodem.com)