Feature Archive

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Linked to Foods?

Study Shows Wheat, Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Soybeans Stood Out Among 16 Common Foods.

By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical News

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Thursday, July 14, 2005

July 14, 2005 -- Are people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) more sensitive to certain foods than other people? And if so, what are those foods?

Science doesn't yet have an indisputable answer to that question. But a report in July's American Journal of Gastroenterology may provide more insight.

IBS is a functional condition of the intestine. While no one fully understands what causes IBS, it is not an anatomic problem. According to the American Academy of Gastroenterology, IBS patients have changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea. They also have abdominal pain along with other symptoms including abdominal bloating and rectal urgency with diarrhea.

Researchers tested 16 common foods on blood from 132 IBS patients and 43 people without IBS.