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Visceral Sensations and Brain-Gut Mechanisms

Over the past several years, different mechanisms located within the gut, or gut wall have been implicated as possible pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the characteristic IBS symptoms of abdominal pain and discomfort. The list ranges from altered transit of intestinal gas, alterations in the colonic flora, immune cell activation in the gut mucosa, and alterations in serotonin containing enterochromaffin cells lining the gut. For those investigators with a good memory, these novel mechanisms can be added to an older list of proposed pathomechanisms, including altered gut motility ("spastic colitis") and alterations in mucus secretion.

Topics: Brain-Gut, Constipation, difficult to pass stools, Diarrhea, loose stools, Fact Sheet, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Lower Abdominal Pain, Pelvic Pain

About the Author

  • Emeran A. Mayer, MD

    Professor of Medicine, Physiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences; Director, Center for Neurovisceral Sciences & Women's Health, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

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