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Large Number of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Sensitive to Gluten

Celiac.com 07/29/2015 - Numerous studies have shown that a high percentage of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are also sensitive to gluten. 

Photo: CC--Nana B. AgyeiA team of researchers recently set out to evaluate the effect of a gluten-free diet on gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with IBS. The research team included B. Shahbazkhani, A. Sadeghi, R. Malekzadeh, F. Khatavi, M. Etemadi, E. Kalantri, M. Rostami-Nejad, and K. Rostami.

They are variously affiliated with the Gastroenterology Unit of Imam Khomeini Hospital at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, the Digestive Disease Research Center, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran, the Sasan Alborz Biomedical Research Center, Masoud Gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinic, Tehran, Iran, the Students' Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, the Gholhak Medical Laboratory, Tehran, Iran, the Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, and with the Department of Gastroenterology, Alexandra Hospital, Worcestershire, UK.

For their double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled trial, the team enrolled 148 IBS patients who fulfilled Rome III criteria between 2011 and 2013.

Unfortunately, only 72 out of the 148 remained on a gluten-free diet for the six weeks needed to complete the study.

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The team recorded clinical symptoms biweekly using a standard visual analogue scale (VAS).

In the second stage after six weeks, patients whose symptoms improved to an acceptable level were randomly divided into two groups; The first group of 35 patients received packages containing powdered gluten, while 37 patients received a gluten-free placebo powder.

Nearly 84% of the gluten-free placebo group showed a significant improvement in symptoms compared to just under 26% for the gluten consuming group (p < 0.001).

This study confirms that a large number of patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome are sensitive to gluten.

The team suggests that the term of IBS might be misleading and may change or delay an "effective and well-targeted treatment strategy in gluten sensitive patients."

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4 Responses:

 
jan
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
30 Jul 2015 3:03:21 AM PDT
Excellent.

 
Glinda
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
03 Aug 2015 9:02:03 AM PDT
Really? This is news? IBS is doctor's code for I Be Stumped, and I won't be digging any deeper to try to help you figure out the cause. Now take this hyoscyamine and deal.
I'm an RN with celiac disease and have a son with celiac disease...any time I have a patient who has GI symptoms and autoimmune disease, I always insist on testing for celiac disease. And the funniest thing is that when I start to ask about family history, it almost always pops up that one family member has celiac or gluten intolerance but none of the extended family was ever tested. Still a huge lack of understanding and awareness in the medical community.

 
Debbie
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said this on
04 Aug 2015 6:54:33 AM PDT
I went gluten free after figuring it out for myself. I'm an RN as well. Refused to go back on gluten to have a test tell me what I already found out! Husband has had IBS his whole life. Got amazingly better on the GF diet and suffered horribly when visiting relatives and ate what he wanted! Proof Positive... no further testing needed!!

 
ann93
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said this on
19 Aug 2015 11:31:16 PM PDT
Thanks for article! I also have IBS-C for five years and it is very hard to deal with this condition.




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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.