Is abdominal cramping caused by a food allergy?
Current estimates indicate that Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects from 10-25% in the general population with a predominance in young adult women. IBS is associated with abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort associate with bowel habit changes.
Many people come to us to see if a food allergy could be responsible for their chronic pain but it is most commonly due to IBS or a food intolerance rather than an allergy. The classic symptoms of Food allergy cause an immediate allergic reaction after ingestion of the culprit food causing hives, itching over the entire body, wheezing and can progress to anaphylactic shock. This occurs every time after you ingest that particular food, not just some of the time. If certain foods cause specific abdominal complaints, it is more likely due to a food intolerance or IBS.
There is not an available test to strictly identify this syndrome or discover specific foods that are the cause. It is generally determined based on history to determine which foods cause an increase in symptoms. We can try certain eliminations diets to see if symptoms resolve after certain foods are removed from the diet and then recur if the food is re-introduced. There are certain foods that seem to be the most relevant IBS triggers, wheat is regarded as the most common. Other foods that contain fructans, fermentable sugars and carbohydrates can cause a significant problems.
We can work with you on your specific complaints to help identify the best dietary changes for you to try to minimize your stomach complaints live a healthier, happier life!
Please feel free to contact our office at any time with questions or concerns! (208) 377-4000