Do You Have Habba Syndrome or IBS?

Gallbladder Dysfunction Causes Habba SyndromeSufferers of irritable bowel syndrome who have found little relief with traditional treatment, may not have IBS but a relatively new disease called Habba Syndrome. Once thought to be a symptom of IBS, Habba Syndrome - discovered in August 2000 by Dr. Saad F. Habba, has now been classified as a distinctive clinical disease requiring a different approach to treatment.Habba Syndrome and Independent Study

Habba Syndrome is a chronic, watery and explosive diarrhea that occurs directly after food intake. Linked solely to a dysfunctional gallbladder, the diarrhea is so debilitating that sufferers often find themselves having to map bathroom stops before leaving home. This embarrassing and uncontrollable condition impacts day-to-day living and prevents the absorption of valuable nutrients.

While the number of people diagnosed with IBS is continually increasing, in several cases, standard treatments do not help nor provide relief. Dr. Habba, former Chief of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, recognized this issue and initiated a study involving 19 patients with a history of chronic diarrhea.

Each patient had to present with specific symptoms to be enrolled in the study:

4-10 bowels movements per dayChronic diarrhea must have been present for 3 or more monthsAll treatment options were exhausted without resolutionChronic diarrhea (CD) was debilitating and completely disrupted activities of daily livingThrough patient observation, Dr. Habba realized that the symptoms of sufferers appeared to resemble the symptoms of gallbladder removal. Namely, that CD only occurred directly after food intake and rarely at night, unless a late meal was consumed. Through additional tests and treatment therapies, Dr. Habba learned that the gallbladder was abnormally contracting. This confirmed his original suspicion that gallbladder dysfunction and not an intestinal disorder, was the culprit.

Dr. Habba prescribed his test patients a drug called Cholestyramine, a powder-type substance that is mixed with water and is primarily a bile-acid binding agent. Used also as a cholesterol-lowering agent and for CD post gallbladder surgery, the medication gave each sufferer immediate relief from CD. Dr. Habba's study was published in the American College of Gastroenterology Journal, Vol. 95, Issue 8, in August 2000. Habba Syndrome was also featured on the Discovery Health show, Mystery Diagnosis in August of 2007.

Habba Syndrome or Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

There are several symptoms for Habba Syndrome that are different or absent in IBS.

These include:

Lack of gastrointestinal cramping as seen in IBSCD occurs only after eating and improves when fasting; IBS typically alternates between constipation and diarrheaGallbladder function is poor in Habba Syndrome, but good in IBS.Habba Syndrome does not respond to standard treatments such as antispasmodics, whereas IBS doesHabba Syndrome responds excellently to bile-acid binding agents as opposed to an erratic response seen in IBSIt is estimated that 55 million people in the US have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. If traditional medicine is failing to work then consider being tested for Habba Syndrome. Tests are simple and include blood work, X-rays and a colonoscopy to rule out the possibility of alternate diseases such as Crohn's disease. This condition is treatable with the medication cholestyramine, a low risk drug with relatively few side-effects.


Doctor's Guideto the, "New Syndrome Connects Gallbladder Dysfunction And Chronic Diarrhea" PLS Group. Aug. 2000. Accessed Mar. 10, 2010. No author given.

Rhodes, Monica "Irritable Bowel Syndrome Guide." May, 2008. Accessed Mar. 10, 2010.

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