Science

Irritable bowel syndrome may be caused by overreacting gut cells

Epithelial cells in the gut continue to be active in mice even after an irritant or infection clears, which may be the source of chronic gut pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome



Health



6 May 2022

A light micrograph image of a section of the small intestine

EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The chronic gut pain people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience may be due to long-lasting activation of rare gut cells. In mice, these cells continue to react to irritants even after the substances have left the gut.

IBS affects up to 15 per cent of the US population and is two to six times more common in women than men. The condition is characterised by symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain and hypersensitivity to certain foods and irritants, despite …

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