Irritable bowel syndrome may be linked to wheat allergy

Added on 14 Jul, 2005 . There are .

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be linked to some food allergies, according to latest research. Using blood tests from IBS patients has found them to have raised levels of antibodies to foods such as wheat & soya, also beef, pork & lamb.

St George's Hospital in London has carried out the research, which has been published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, and says that preliminary trials involving patients avoiding some of these foods have had encouraging results.

In the UK it is estimated that IBS affects up to 33% of the population, with symptoms varying from abdominal pain and spasm to diarrhoea, constipation, bloated stomach and food hypersensitivity.

Current research suggests that approximately 5% of the population is hypersensitive to food, however approximately 65% of IBS sufferers believe that their condition may be due to a food allergy.

Researcher Professor Devinder Kumar said: "Symptoms from the irritable bowel syndrome can compromise the quality life. 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."

IBS sufferers should not embark on a wheat free diet without professional advice from their physician and a registered dietician.