IBS & IBD
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.
An IgG food allergy test followed by an elimination and provocation diet may be an interesting approach. ImuPro allows you to change your diet very selectively based on your test results.
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 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).
Type III food allergy may promote inflammation – like in Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory disease which most commonly affects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the colon, but may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Like ulcerative colitis, CD can be both painful and debilitating.
A delayed IgG food allergy may play a role in CD. The ImuPro concept may thus be a useful addition to usual therapies. Learn more about the concept and your ImuPro way.
People suffering from CD often experience loss of appetite and may lose weight as a result. A feeling of low energy and fatigue is also common. CD is a chronic disease, so this means patients will likely experience periods when the disease flares up and causes symptoms, followed by periods of remission when patients may not notice symptoms at all.
Common symptoms of Chron’s Disease:
- Stomach aches
- Server bouts of watery or bloody diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain
The diagnosis of Crohn’s disease
There is no single diagnostic test for the diagnosis. Instead, it is the sum of several examinations like blood analysis, stool test, ultrasound scan, colonoscopy or gastroscopy. To ensure the right therapeutic steps, the extent and the severity of the inflammation need to be defined.
The causes of Chron’s disease
Recent studies indicate that foods can trigger such inflammations, for example through a type III food allergy. A diet based on the elimination of such foods could supplement the standard drug therapy with anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids.
CD mostly affects individual sections of the gastro-intestinal tract; most often the transition of the small intestine to the colon. The inflammation may cover the entire intestinal wall and even organs outside the intestine such as joints, eyes and skin. A particular genetic profile may predispose persons to develop CD.
The scientific approach to Chron’s disease and IgG
Food as a trigger of Crohn’s disease has long been discussed in literature. As CD is an inflammatory disease, IgG antibodies could also play an important role in the disease when other factors can be excluded.
In a study published in 2010, an exclusion diet was performed upon presence of IgG to food (“Clinical relevance of IgG antibodies against food antigens in Crohn’s Disease: A double-blind cross-over diet intervention study”, Bentz et al., Digestion 2010; 81:252-264). 79 CD patients and 20 healthy persons in a control group were examined for IgG. Afterwards, the clinical relevance of these food IgG antibodies was assessed in a double-blind cross-over study with 40 patients. Based on the IgG antibodies, an elimination diet was planned. Increased quantities of food-specific IgG antibodies were detected in CD patients. A statistically significant reduction in stool frequency compared to the control group was achieved when the CD patients complied with the specific elimination diet.
Another study aimed to show the effect of the intake of IgG positive food in CD patients in remission (“The effects of provocation by foods with raised IgG antibodies and additives on the course of Crohn’s disease: A pilot study”. Uzunismail et al., Gastroenterol 2012; 23 (1): 19-27). In all patients, increased markers of intestinal inflammation, abdominal symptoms as well as histological evidence were found after a 3 day food challenge with IgG positive food. The authors concluded that foods with raised IgG antibody levels and food additives can provoke the symptoms and may stimulate the inflammation in patients with CD.
Discover how the unique ImuPro food tolerance testing works
With testing from ImuPro, you can quickly and effectively discover food intolerances and food allergies that may be causing the conditions above.