Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): a treatable form of peripheral neuropathy
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has long been considered a diagnosis of exclusion with no clear pathogenesis. With an estimated prevalence of 20% in the Western world, understanding this disease has been a major topic of interest in the medical and non-medical community. Data suggests the pathogenesis is multifactorial. More recently, the role of the mesentery, both on a structural and neurological level, has been postulated as well as the necessity of healthy gut flora. These are emerging as key factors in ensuring adequate levels of serotonin in the intestine, in turn regulating bowel motility. With IBS affecting a large patient population, further research is required to characterise relationships between the mesentery, peripheral nerves, bowel flora and gut motility to help identify an optimal treatment regimen for patients with IBS.