While more than six per cent of Canadians suffer from this troublesome disease - characterized by on-going abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and severe bouts of either diarrhoea or constipation - most Canadians, including many physicians, know little about it.
New Canadian research is exploring the causes of this disease, including bacterial infections from food or water poisoning, which lead to a chronic low-level infection that in turn results in IBS symptoms. The research is also providing some hope for potential cures, including the use of probiotics and treatments to reduce stress levels.
The following CIHR-funded researchers are available to talk about IBS:
How pathogenic bacteria act to survive and thrive in the gut and how certain treatments, like probiotic yogurt can thwart them
Dr. Philip Sherman, Scientific Director, CIHR-Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism, and Diabetes (Toronto)
How food or water poisoning, can trigger chronic IBS, and on the potential of probiotics to treat it.
Dr. Stephen Collins, McMaster University (Hamilton)
The role of sex hormones in women suffering from IBS pain.
Dr. Serge Marchand, Sherbrooke University
How gut talks and listens to the brain and spinal cord - and how the gut uses cannabinoids (chemicals related to the active ingredient in marijuana) to control its movements and sensations - including pain.
Dr. Keith Sharkey, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
How food and stress interact as triggers to exacerbate IBS, and how low levels of inflammation may persist and contribute to IBS symptoms even though the bowel appears to be normal.
Dr. Stephen Vanner, Queen's University. (Kingston)
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to nearly 12,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca