What is the role of diet in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019
  • Author: Mohammad F El-Baba, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Changes in the gut microbiome potentially play a role in irritable bowel syndrome, [2, 16] such as increases in Streptococcus species and moderate decreases in Firmicutes prausnitzii, [16]  or vitamin D deficiency. [17]

Some studies have proposed that carbohydrate intolerance may produce significant symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Ingestion of lactose, sorbitol, or fructose is associated with increased GI symptoms. Likewise, a food allergy may play a minor role in triggering or exacerbating symptoms in some patients with irritable bowel syndrome. A study by Atkinson et al has shown that immunoglobulin (Ig)G food antibodies may have a role in irritable bowel syndrome and food elimination based on IgG antibodies may be effective in reducing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. [18]

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