Symptoms and signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome vary from person-to-person. Researchers believe nerves and muscles in the bowel appear to be extra sensitive to food, and yet conclude that food does not play a role in triggering symptoms. Even though some of those suffering with symptoms of IBS find that symptoms will become worse after meals.
The role of the medical profession is to abate the symptoms, by providing medications.
The role of an alternative health care practioner is to get to the underlying cause of symptoms and that is nutrition.
The following recommendations can be used for just about any disease. Foods that do not work with your constitution cause inflammation. It has been well researched that inflammation is an underlying cause to most diseases such s Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Food provides your body with the nutrients needed to repair and allow for cellular growth. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry contain vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, polyphones and more to keep your body working properly. Whole foods provide an alkaline state to keep microorganisms from proliferating and ploymorphing into states that can become pathogenic. In fact food is the foundation for health or illness.
Some experts conclude that one with IBS symptoms should refrain from trigger foods such as caffeine, alcohol, milk products, foods high in sugar, fatty foods, beans, cabbage, and broccoli, artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol. This is a great start, but let’s take it a step further. Avoid foods that are processed, packaged, refined, fast food, bakery food that are nutrient devoid and are of no benefit to your health.
Experts say to avoid certain foods however; quality clean whole foods may also be a problem. Each person and their immune system unique. This is why it is important to find out what your trigger foods are so that you can abate IBS symptoms and take control.
An effective method is an elimination diet. Most common triggers of food allergies are milk, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat and citrus. Eliminate these foods, (including foods with several ingredients that may include one or more of these foods) from your diet for a period of one month, as well as any other food that you may suspect is causing a problem for you.
Start by taking an assessment of how you feel right now, before you omit the offending foods. For some, put it to a scale of 1-5 with 1-full symptom, 5-no symptom. List all your complaints and symptoms, paying attention to headaches, aches and pains in joints and other parts of the body, cramping, number of bowel movements per day, type and quality of bowel movements, rumbling, gurgling and any other noises your digestive tract is producing, energy levels, sleep and waking, mood and behaviour. Each week reassess your list. At the end of one month see how much you have improved.
After one month, pick one eliminated food and include it as much s possible in your diet over the next four days. Be sure to record on your assessment sheet daily all reactions, bowel changes, mood changes and level of energy. If you start to have symptoms, you probably have sensitivity to that food and may need to put it on a rotation diet. After the fourth day, give your body a 2 day break then introduce the next food, until all foods have been tested.
A quicker method of testing for offending foods is through a food sensitivity test. There is allergy testing which is done by your Allergist. Allergy testing uses IgE antibody testing which involves uncomfortable scratching of the skin and applying allergens, waiting 20-30 minutes for reactions. If there are questionable reactions, there is a further, more painful testing which involves placing more of the substance just under the dermis. IgE reactions are primarily Th2 mediated and create an immediate reaction after exposure. For foods it is not a reliable way to test for delayed reactions, and an allergist will tell you this. However, if you have a true allergy to foods it will show up on this test as this provokes clinical IgE reactions to inflammation of the Th2 cytokines, creating immediate response of histamine from mast cells. Foods that provoke immediate response, you should probably steer clear of as they could create or develop into severe reactions.
What an IgE antibody test will not show you is the delayed reaction to ingested foods. These are known as sensitivities that will not show up on an IgE test. Sensitivity to food can occur instantly, but is more likely take up to 72 hours for a reaction to occur.
With an IgE response there are usually instant symptoms of itching, swelling, redness, flushing, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as smooth muscle contractions resulting in edema, asthma, G.I. symptoms, atopic dermatitis and anaphylaxis reaction1
IgG reactions can cause many different reactive symptoms such as and not limited to dark circles under the eyes, post nasal drip, sinus issues, bloating, gas, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of energy, inability to sleep, depression, inability to focus, weight gain, moodiness, and behavioral issues.
IgG is a Th1 response responsible for pro-inflammatory cytokines reactions associated with delayed food response. IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, IgG4,are subclasses of IgG. IgG4 is responsible for reacting to repetitive foods in the gut. Research shows that some subjects experience an elevation of IgG4 with no reaction to IgE but still have symptoms when certain foods are consumed. It is hypothesized that symptoms experienced are due to IgG4 forming antigen complexes that the body reacts to2.
This is why you can do a food journal and elimination diet or take a blood or finger prick test and quickly learn which foods to avoid. An IgG-4 antibody bloodspot tests for 30 common foods. Once you are aware of the foods unique to your physiology remove them and keep a journal. Much like above, over the next month, rating how you feel on a weekly basis and be sure to start with the symptoms you are experiencing presently.
After a month, take the least reactive foods from your report and put them on a rotation. Every four days you can consume those reactive foods, without symptoms. Research has shown that avoidance all together or rotating offending foods decrease the symptoms you are experiencing.
Regardless of the path you choose, take a proactive approach to your health. If you are suffering and have tried everything else and nothing is working, why not give it a chance? You may find some relief in your symptoms.
1-2. IgE and IgG4 Immune Reactions to Food Metametrix Institute
The information provided in this article has not been approved by the FDA and is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. This article is not recommending changing any treatment or medication you are taking without consulting with your personal physician or qualified health care practitioner. Before implementing any suggestions seen here please consult with your physician or qualified health care practitioner