Blood testing links common foods and irritable bowel syndrome

Researchers using comparison trials determined that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients have elevated food-specific IgG4 antibodies to common foods such as wheat, beef, pork, lamb, and soya bean. These findings are published in the July issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

The results suggest that food hypersensitivities play a role in the pathophysiology of IBS and the observations made are consistent for three subgroups of IBS tested (diarrhea, constipation and alternators). No significant difference was observed in skin prick testing or IgE antibody titers to these food antigens in IBS patients.

"Symptoms from the irritable bowel syndrome can compromise the quality life," states corresponding author Dr. Devinder Kumar of St. George’s Hospital in London. "With this simple test, we have scientifically shown that these symptoms may be due to the body’s response to what we eat in our daily diet. It opens up a new avenue for the management for this large and complex group of patients."

Current research shows that the prevalence of food hypersensitivities in the general population is estimated at about 5%, and up to 65% of IBS patients attribute their symptoms to food allergies. Since this study has been conducted, the researchers have now performed a diet exclusion study based on the findings of the food hypersensitivity test and "preliminary results are very encouraging."


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