Abdominal pains are common and from a changed dietary pattern to an infection, it could be anything. But if you are experiencing unexplained chronic abdominal pain, there are high chances that you are suffering from a gut infection that needs a complete medical evaluation and treatment planning. A recent study from the journal Nature highlights a new mechanism that may be behind unbearable abdominal pain.
Contrary to popular assumption, pain is not a disease but a sign that something is going wrong inside the body. It is a symptom to make the body alert regarding underlying or potential damage to the tissues. There are different types, severity, and forms of these pains. For example, nociceptive pain is triggered by tissue damage. Then there are inflammatory and non-inflammatory pains linked with the immune system. A pain that lasts for weeks or more than 12 weeks is typically called chronic pain.
The biggest reason behind chronic abdominal pain is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But this type of pain often shows up with diarrhea, swelling, cramps, vomiting, constipation, or any other related sign. It is highly unlikely for this type of pain to show up alone.
Also read- How to Cut Sugar from Diet to Lose Weight?
Sometimes chronic abdominal pain is also because of allergies but the health experts are unsure of how is it caused. It is easy to identify chronic gut pain if it is associated with IBS because of other co-existing symptoms. But a pain that doesn’t show any other sign has nothing to explain itself.
IBS is extremely common but there are so many risk factors that can lead to it. for example, any change in gut microflora, stress, and some gut-to-brain interactions. In this new study, the research team has identified that bacterial infections are able to change the entire immune response by the gut. The body starts to think that the food particles inside it are harmful. Because of this, the body starts conferring the food particles and causes unbearable gut pain.
The research team from the KU Leuven Department of Chronic Diseases, Metabolism and Ageing (Belgium) have worked on this new mechanism which may explain the changed role of the body towards tolerating antigens, especially from food sources. Whenever these food particles are inside the body, the immune system will detect them as some harmful compounds and trigger a pain that feels a lot like IBS-linked pain.
Along with these new reasons for unexplained abdominal pain, the research team has also presented some treatment options for such people. they recommend changing the gut to immune system interaction and focus on the IgE antibodies, which are behind inflammation in the gut. They also suggest using a way to temporarily block the sensory nerves inside the colon which are responsible to carry information from the gut to the brain and induce chronic pain.
The result of this study is however limited, and the research team says that a detailed investigation will suggest the therapeutic development for people suffering from this type of pain.