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A Tailored Diet Can Ease IBS Symptoms

A Tailored Diet Can Ease IBS Symptoms

Many celebrities suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and have shared their struggle with this often painful and embarrassing condition. They include model and host Tyra Banks, TV’s former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter and singer/songwriter Kurt Cobain, who revealed he suffered from “constant” digestive pain.

As many as one in 10 people in the US have IBS. Their typical complaints are abdominal cramping and pain, constipation or diarrhea and nausea. IBS is a set of symptoms that may be related to food choices, not a specific disease, so it often can’t be treated with medication. That’s why folks have been hoping for a blood test to alert them to what foods they’re sensitive to—but there hasn’t been much science to back them up.

Researchers performed a leukocyte activation test on blood samples from 58 patients with IBS to find out which foods triggered increased immune cell activation. Then, they put some patients on diets based on their personal blood test results and put others on sham diets. After a month, patients on the personally-tailored diets had “significantly” less severe symptoms. The researchers concluded that elimination diets guided by the type of blood test done in this study can reduce symptoms of IBS!

You can also try a FODMAP elimination diet (it takes out and then reintroduces foods that are fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols). Some studies have shown that eliminating FODMAPS can help alleviate IBS symptoms. Discuss these two approaches with your doc, and make a plan.

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