Celiac.com 12/30/2013 - Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) often occur together, and research indicates that many people with IBS plus FMS (IBS/FMS) might actually suffer from undiagnosed celiac disease.

Photo: CC--RosefirerisingTo better understand the potential connection between the two, a team of researchers recently conducted an active case finding for celiac disease in two IBS cohorts, one constituted by IBS/FMS subjects and the other by people with isolated IBS.

The research team included L. Rodrigo, I. Blanco, J. Bobes, F.J. de Serres. They are affiliated with the department of Gastroenterology at the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA), Celestino Villamil in Oviedo in the Principality of Asturias, Spain.

For their study, the team included 104 patients (89.4% females), fulfilling the 1990-ACR criteria for FMS and the Roma III criteria for IBS classification, along with 125 unrelated, age and sex matched IBS non-FMS patients.

All patients underwent the following studies: hematological, coagulation and biochemistry test, serological and genetic markers for celiac disease (i.e., tissue-Transglutaminase-2, tTG-2, and major histocompatibility complex HLA-DQ2/DQ8); multiple gastric and duodenal biopsies; FMS tender points (TPs); fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ), health assessment questionnaire (HAQ), short form health survey (SF-36), and visual analogue scales (VAS) for tiredness and gastrointestinal complaints.

Overall results showed that IBS/FMS patients scored much worse values in quality of life and VAS scales than those with isolated IBS (p

These seven patients showed substantial improvement in digestion and symptoms once they adopted gluten-free diets.

The findings of this screening indicate that a significant percentage of IBS/FMS patients actually have celiac disease. These patients can improve symptoms and possibly prevent long-term celiac-related complications with a strict lifelong gluten-free diet.


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