Food allergy in irritable bowel syndrome: The case of non-celiac wheat sensitivity

Mansueto P1, D'Alcamo A1, Seidita A1, Carroccio A1. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jun 21;21(23):7089-109. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i23.7089.
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1Pasquale Mansueto, Alberto D'Alcamo, Aurelio Seidita, Antonio Carroccio, Biomedical Department of Internal Medicine and Specialist, University Hospital of Palermo, 90141 Palermo, Italy.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, having a prevalence of 12%-30% in the general population. Most patients with IBS attribute their symptoms to adverse food reactions. We review the role of diet in the pathogenesis of IBS and the importance of dietary factors in the management of these patients. The MEDLINE electronic database (1966 to Jan 2015) was searched using the following keywords: "food", "diet", "food allergy", "food hypersensitivity", "food intolerance", "IBS", "epidemiology", "pathogenesis", "pathophysiology", "diagnosis", "treatment". We found 153 eligible papers; 80 were excluded because: not written in English, exclusive biochemical and experimental research, case reports, reviews, and research otherwise not relevant to our specific interest. We selected 73 papers: 43 original papers, 26 reviews and 4 letters to the editor. These papers focused on IBS pathogenesis, the association between IBS and atopy, and between IBS and food allergy, the relationship between IBS and non-celiac wheat sensitivity, the role of diet in IBS. Pending further scientific evidence, a cautious approach is advisable but the concept of food allergy should be included as a possible cause of IBS, and a dietary approach may have a place in the routine clinical management of IBS.

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