The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be due to celiac disease in some patients. Research appearing in the Lancet (November 3, 2001;358:1504-1508) compared 300 patients with celiac disease to 300 healthy controls. Of the IBS patients, 66 patients with had positive antibody results, indicating gluten sensitivity. Of the 66, 14 had celiac disease (11 EMA positive, three EMA negative). Nine patients with positive antibody results were lost to follow-up or refused biopsy (only one EMA-positive patient refused biopsy), and 43 had normal duodenal mucosa. Only two of the controls had celiac disease. Compared with matched controls, irritable bowel syndrome was significantly associated with celiac disease.
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