Is Food Sensitivity To Blame For Symptoms in Many IBS Patients?
While multiple causes have been proposed for IBS, a condition that affects 10% to 25% of the general population, the possible role of food consumption and sensitivity in the disease remains unclear.
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In a recent report, researchers evaluated current literature in order to determine the “true culprit” behind IBS symptoms, and whether gluten, wheat, and FODMAP sensitivity are behind many of the symptoms in these patients.
Overall, researchers identified 7 published studies that showed reductions in IBS symptoms of about 70% after adherence to a low-FODMAP diet. However, short study durations (only 3 to 6 weeks), placebo choices, and the lack of blinding have made it unclear whether or not a low-FODMAP diet could be successfully used to alleviate symptoms in patients with IBS.
"One missing aspect is whether the intestinal responses to the dietary proteins are actually translated into altered gut physiology such as visceral hypersensitivity or abnormal motility responses," the researchers wrote. "If that can be proven, then it places even greater importance of defining methods of detecting such sensitivities accurately so that the underlying condition can potentially be cured rather than just symptomatically treated."
"The place of diet, whether it be low FODMAP diet, gluten-free diet (GFD), or other fancy diets, is now established in the therapeutic strategies that clinicians can offer their patients," they concluded. "While the truth remains clouded, facts are emerging from the fiction."
The complete study published in the June issue of Gut.
-Michelle Canales Butcher
De Giorgio R, Volta U, Gbibson PR. Sensitivity to wheat, gluten and FODMAPs in IBS: facts or fiction? Gut. 2015 June [epub ahead of print] doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309757.