What Causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

IBS
Bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhoea, cramps, depression, anxiety and constipation – these are some of the more common, and unpleasant symptoms of IBS.

In this disorder, the sufferer’s bowel nerves and muscles are highly sensitive: their muscles may cramp up when they have a meal. Its thought that most cases are caused by food allergies, but it is not always easy to pinpoint the culprit.

To test this theory, researchers from the University of York tested 300 IBS suffers for allergies using a highly advanced blood test called IgG ELISA testing. Then they gave the patients’ doctors either real or faked results. The patients then avoided the alleged allergy-provoking food indicated in the test results for three months. At the end of three months, only those people in the real allergy-free diet showed a marked improvement in symptoms.

Wheat gluten is behind many cases of IBS. Gluten can also be found in rye, barley and oats, but oats are free of gliadin, a substance in gluten that is particularly allergenic. So, if you’ve developed IBS, the first step is to avoid all gluten grains. If, after 10 days, say, your condition improves, reintroduce oats and see what happens. If all is well you can keep on eating oats, a useful source of soluble fibre, vitamins and minerals and slow-release energy. But it is important to get yourself tested. We are all different, and you may be reacting to foods you’ve never suspected.

Article taken directly from “500 Health and Nutrition Questions Answered” by Patrick Holford.

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