IBS Patients Often Have Vitamin D Deficiency

December 21, 2015
Amy Jacob

People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also often have lower levels of vitamin D.

People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also often have lower levels of vitamin D.

Although the specific cause of IBS development remains a mystery, several studies have attributed worsened symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, bloating, urgency, white or yellow mucus in the stool, and sensation of incompletely pass stools to dietary factors and stress.

Bernard Corfe, MD, University of Sheffield’s Molecular Gastroenterology Research Group, investigated the relationship between vitamin D levels and the severity of IBS symptoms and the extent to which IBS impacts quality of life.

According to the study results published in the BMJ Open Gastroenterology, of the 51 patients with IBS, 82% showed insufficient levels of vitamin D.

The findings also suggested that higher doses of vitamin D3 supplements improved IBD symptoms, when other treatments did not.

Corfe commented, “IBS is a poorly understood condition that impacts severely on the quality of life of sufferers. There is no single known cause and likewise no single known cure. Clinicians and patients currently have to work together and use trial and error to manage the condition, and this may take years with no guarantee of success.”

As associations between vitamin D and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease have long been established; the research team understands more precise clinical trials are necessary to understand the impact vitamin D levels and supplements have on IBS patients.