21 October is National Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Day, “a pathology that is part of Central Sensitivity Syndrome (CSS)” according to Dr. Oscar Cáceres, allergist and clinical immunologist at the SHC Medical Unit of Viamed Santa Ángela de la Cruz Hospital in Seville. This disease affects between 6% and 8% of the population, mainly women between 20 and 40 years old, according to data collected by GEMD (Spanish Group of Digestive Motility).
CSS includes pathologies such as fibromyalgia, migraine and tension headache, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, multiple chemical syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and electrosensitivity syndrome, among others. What all of these processes have in common is the sensitisation of the central nervous system, an immunoneuroendocrine and mitochondrial dysfunction, and an imbalance in oxidative stress.
“These pathologies are no longer independent entities. They share production mechanisms, meaning that the patient does not have numerous diseases but instead one disorder that can cause all these symptoms,” says Dr. Cáceres.
This syndrome is characterised by the constant presence of digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, gas, pregnancy-type abdominal swelling, stomach heaviness, abdominal distension, diarrhoea, constipation, cramps.
“In most of these patients,” says Dr. Cáceres, “we discover a disorder of the intestinal permeability which causes the appearance of food sensitivities that may be behind the symptoms they present”.
Moreover, apart from digestive symptoms, many of these patients also present headaches, tiredness, muscular or joint pain, all symptoms common in Central Sensitivity Syndrome “When these patients are studied and treated following the CSS approach, a 90% improvement is achieved”, this expert concludes.