Individualized Diets Can Alleviate IBS Symptoms

Pharmacy Times, July 2018 Digestive Health, Volume 84, Issue 7

The results of a recent study suggest that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can find relief for their symptoms by adhering to an individualized diet. The study, published in BMJ Open Gastroenterology, collected blood samples from 58 patients with IBS and measured how each sample’s immune cells responded to individual food. Based on these analyses, the participants were put on personalized diets that restricted foods either consistent or inconsistent with test results.

At 4 and 8 weeks following the start of the diets, participants were evaluated for quality of life and symptom severity. The research team found that the patients on diets consistent with test results fared better overall and experienced greater improvements in symptoms, such as abdominal pain and swelling, than those whose diets were inconsistent with test results. However, neither group reported notable changes in quality of life.

The researchers noted that their study is among the first to produce evidence for the dietary treatment of IBS and expressed hope that their findings would lead to further research in this area. “If these intriguing results can be replicated in larger and more diverse samples, they can provide insight into another way to treat a condition that can often be very frustrating,” first author Ather Ali, ND, MPH, MHS, said in a statement. “It can be debilitating, and patients are often looking for dietary approaches to it.”