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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2011 Mar;40(1):141-62. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2010.12.012.

Food: the forgotten factor in the irritable bowel syndrome.

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Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Health System, 3912 Taubman Center, SPC 5362, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5362, USA.


After years of inattention, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that dietary constituents at least exacerbate symptoms and perhaps contribute to the pathogenesis of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although patients with IBS self-report food allergies more often than the general population, the evidence suggests that true food allergies are relatively uncommon. Less clearly defined food intolerances may be an important contributor to symptoms in IBS patients. This article reviews the literature supporting a causal link between food and the symptoms of IBS as well as the evidence supporting dietary interventions as a means of managing IBS symptoms.

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