Research appearing in the Annals of Allergy (June 1985;54:538-540) looked at 24 subjects with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Half of the patients were described as having allergies or a tendency towards sudden allergic reactions. Yeasts (Candida albicans or Geotrichum cadidum) were found in the stool samples of 11 of the subjects. The subjects were placed on a hypoallergenic diet. They avoided common allergens like gluten and dairy; their permitted foods included fish, rice, apricots, and mineral water. Since gluten was not permitted, bread was made from corn or soybeans. Gradually new foods were added to the diet. It was found in seven of the patients that specific foods caused IBS symptoms. In seven others, dietary change had no effect. Another three of the subjects experienced improvement on the hypoallergenic diet, but no exacerbation when foods were added. At the end of the study, 10 of the patients were completely free of IBS symptoms. The authors believe that looking for hidden food sensitivity in patients with IBS and a tendency toward allergies is worthwhile.
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