Fecal assays detect hypersensitivity to cow’s milk and gluten in adults with IBS

Some patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms suffer from food hypersensitivity (FH). Scientists from the University of Palermo and Internal Medicine, Ospedali Civili Riuniti di Sciacca (AG) studied 160 patients with IBS, 40 with other gastrointestinal disorders and 50 healthy controls, to determine the frequency of FH among IBS sufferers.

At the beginning of the study the patients completed a symptom severity questionnaire, fecal samples were taken and levels of specific IgE were measured. The patients were placed on an elimination diet for four weeks, and then underwent a double-blind, placebo-controlled, oral food challenge to cow’s milk proteins and then wheat proteins. Those who reported improvements after the elimination diet, and then underwent the food challenge were then diagnosed with FH.

The scientists looked at the levels of tryptase and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), and found that levels of both were higher in those with IBS and FH, than in those with just IBS. Twenty-five percent of the patients with IBS were found to have food hypersensitivity, meaning that fecal assays could be used to identify food hypersensitivity in patients with IBS.

Source: Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology


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