Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may be the result of an igg food allergy
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) causes a great deal of discomfort and stress, for some people it can even be disabling. They may be unable to work, attend social events or even travel short distances.
The intensity of complaints varies from person to person. It can increase as years go by. Some patients occasionally suffer from mild IBS symptoms; others have to constantly endure severe complaints. IBS can occur without warning, but also after an intestinal infection, for instance. Quality of life is often considerably reduced.
Therapy mostly consists of medication like stool softeners and laxatives that keep the symptoms under control. Since the set of symptoms is often linked to the consumption of certain foods, people affected with IBS often develop complicated diet plans that restrict them severely.
Common Symptoms for IBS
- Constipation and diarrhea (sometimes alternating)
- Abdominal pain
The diagnosis of IBS
There is not yet any specific method for the diagnosis of IBS. The diagnosis is made using the principle of exclusion. This means that the doctor or therapist investigates whether other diseases are responsible for the complaints or not.
The causes of IBS
The Causes of IBSThe causes of IBS have not yet been clarified; repeated studies indicate that there are various causes of the set of IBS symptoms. However, a low-grade inflammatory condition is discussed as one possible trigger. Elevated specific IgG antibody levels to food may cause such inflammations. Nowadays there is reason to believe that some symptoms of IBS may be the result of an IgG food allergy (type III). If indeed there is an immune response to foods, these specific foods can be identified by an IgG test such as ImuPro. An elimination diet on the basis of the test result can substantially decrease symptoms of IBS. Following the nutritional guidelines, the patient can still have enjoyable meals
The scientific approach to IBS and IgG
There are several studies that indicate a connection between elevated IgG antibodies to food and IBS. One of them is “Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a randomised controlled trial”, Atkinson et al. 2003 (Gut 2004; 53: 1459-1464). Participants were patients with a mild form of IBS; none of them had been diagnosed with celiac disease, lactose intolerance or other more serious ailments. One study group was on a sham diet for 12 weeks, the other one on a diet without foods with an elevated IgG level. The state of health and irritable bowel syndrome improved significantly in patients who followed the elimination diet based on the IgG test.
The study “The value of eliminating foods according to food-specific Immunoglobulin G antibodies in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhoea” by Hon Guo et al. 2010 (The Journal of International Medical Research 2012; 40:204-210) comes to similar conclusions. 77 patients with IBS symptoms including diarrhoea were compared with a group of 26 patients without IBS; in the IBS group, there was a significantly higher proportion of patients with elevated IgG antibodies, compared to the group of non-IBS patients. The elimination diet based on foodstuffs to which the patient had developed increased quantities of IgG antibodies led to a significant reduction in the irritable bowel symptoms. Finally a double blind cross-over study performed with the ImuPro test with patients with migraine and IBS showed a 44% reduction of abdominal pain and a 42% reduction of IBS symptoms within 10 days. (Headache 2013 Mar;53(3):514-25)