Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has no known cure. But there are several known methods of mediating the symptoms that come with this unfortunate condition. It turns out that food sensitivity testing is one of these effective methods. Today we’ll explore the utility of food sensitivity testing in managing IBS symptoms.
Research on Food Sensitivity so far
Several studies have looked into the use of food sensitivity testing in helping IBS sufferers alleviate their symptoms. A 2012 study compared the effects of regular diets to food sensitivity test-guided elimination diets. This was a double-blind, randomised, controlled study, so there’s no chance that the patients or those questioning them could have skewed results either way.
They found that patients who followed the test-based elimination diet reported reduced symptoms and better overall quality of life. Bloating was found to be significantly reduced for those in the test-based-diet group.
Another study compared the clinical value of food sensitivity testing and concluded that diets based on these tests should be encouraged and were found to be quite effective. There has even been some research into IBS, food sensitivities and major depressive disorder.
In other words, the science so far is very supportive of food sensitivity testing. By why do elimination diets based on these tests help alleviate symptoms?
Could FODMAPS be the reason?
One reason might be because IBS sufferers benefit from a Low-FODMAP diet, and these tests single out certain High-FODMAP foods that they can’t digest properly. Research is also in favour of using a Low-FODMAP diet to minimise IBS symptoms, although FODMAPS shouldn’t be completed eliminated indefinitely, as this can cause a host of new problems.
It looks like food intolerance testing could be highly valuable in helping people with IBS manage their condition. If these studies are anything to go by, it certainly can’t help to follow a test-based elimination diet.