The Link Between IBS and Allergies

Even if IBS is the most common gastro-intestinal disorder seen by gastroenterologists today, very little is actually known about what causes it. Not long ago, however , researchers at Rush university in Chicago discovered that a significant number of people with allergic or atopic conditions including rhinitis, asthma and eczema also have symptoms of IBS and found a clear link between IBS and allergies. This certainly could have implications in the future regarding possible treatment options for IBS.

The study

The Chicago study led by Dr Jane C. Tobin and her colleagues involving 125 people found that the prevalence of IBS was higher with those with seasonal rhinitis (2. 67 times) and atopic eczema (3. 85 times) and 12 out of forty one of the patients had both asthma and IBS. Tobin found a clear link between Atopy and IBS on this study and concluded that people in this sub group of IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, or those who have atopic IBS should be differentiated from people with non-atopic IBS due to the fact that they could have “distinct pathophysiologic attributes that could benefit from specific therapeutic interventions”. This means that those with atopic IBS could perhaps find more relief by having treatment options formulated that take into consideration other factors related to their allergies and their IBS symptoms.

What is IBS?

IBS is not an ailment and is better described as a collection of symptoms which include abdominal problems and bloating along with abnormal bowel movements resulting in diarrhea, constipation or both. Other symptoms can include excessive that (wind), mucous in the stools, a sense of urgency and tensing whilst trying to perform a bowel movement. What makes IBS hard treat is that no two people will present with exactly the same indicators or degree of severity, making any effective treatment plan for IBS quite complex and more a process of trying various options to discover what works.

Also, rather than there being one single identifiable cause of ibs; it would appear instead that many factors are involved which can have the likes of food intolerances, bacterial overgrowth, enzyme deficiencies, way of living and stress. Although stress itself doesn’t cause IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME it can make the symptoms of IBS much worse. What is known in relation to IBS is that there is no cure and no single treatment plan that is definitely suitable for all IBS sufferers.

Approximately 20% or just one in 5 of the UK population suffers from IBS while this figure could be higher. In the past there were some complications associated with diagnosing IBS as up until very recently, IBS was only diagnosed when all other possible conditions were definitily ruled out, which takes time. Also, many people, particularly those with milder symptoms, may not seek help for their symptoms so are probable go undiagnosed.

Many previous studies have shown that exposure to certain allergens can produce symptoms of IBS in some people when, as this latest study suggests, there is a clear link concerning IBS symptoms and atopic allergies, then this could available the door for new ways of treating at least some groups of those that have IBS.