IBS is a chronic condition effecting the large intestine. It can cause bloating, constipation, stomach cramps and even diarrhoea. The cause of it is unknown and medical professionals have yet to find a cure, but there are known methods of managing the condition. One surprising way of managing IBS symptoms is through food intolerance testing.

How Intolerance testing helps

It’s not uncommon for people with IBS to suspect that they have an intolerance to certain foods. In fact, many report certain foods worsen or trigger their IBS symptoms. This has led researchers to investigate the relationship between food intolerances and IBS.

A study from 2013 measured IBS patients’ blood levels of IgG antibodies to identify food intolerances. The patients then undertook an elimination diet based on this intolerance testing. They found that following the elimination diet resulted in an improvement in symptoms and greater overall quality of life.

“Our findings indicate that food elimination based on IgG antibodies in migraine patients who suffer from concomitant IBS may effectively reduce symptoms from both disorders, with a possible positive impact on the quality of life of the patients as well as potential savings to the health-care system.” – Elif Ilgaz Aydinlar MD, et al 

Was It A Fluke?

A larger study from 2004 split 150 IBS inpatients into two groups. One group followed an IgG-based elimination diet, while the control followed a ‘sham elimination diet’, while still eliminating roughly the same number of foods. This trial was double-blind to minimise any chance of a placebo effect on both the patients and researchers’ part. Patients who maintained their elimination diet for the full 3 months reported a 26% reduction in symptoms – that’s quite a significant drop.

The research so far shows that IBS can be managed quite effectively through avoiding foods which your body is intolerant to. Sticking to a diet that avoids these problem foods seems to be a great way of managing the condition But, be sure to get proper intolerance testing before haphazardly removing foods from your diet; as you don’t want to restrict your diet needlessly and accidentally become deficient in any nutrients.