Abstract

Irregular Dietary Habits with a High Intake of Cereals and Sweets Are Associated with More Severe Gastrointestinal Symptoms in IBS Patients

Nilholm C1, Larsson E2, Roth B3, Gustafsson R4, Ohlsson B5. Nutrients. 2019 Jun 5;11(6). pii: E1279. doi: 10.3390/nu11061279.

 
     

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, SE-20502 Malmö, Sweden. clara.nilholm@med.lu.se.

Department of Internal Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, SE-20502 Malmö, Sweden. ewa-larsson@outlook.com.

Department of Internal Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, SE-20502 Malmö, Sweden. bodil.roth@med.lu.se.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, SE-20502 Malmö, Sweden. rita.gustafsson@med.lu.se.

Department of Internal Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, SE-20502 Malmö, Sweden. bodil.ohlsson@med.lu.se.

Abstract

Dietary advice constitutes one of the first choices of treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We have recognized an increased prevalence of sucrase-isomaltase (SI) gene variants in IBS patients, possibly rendering starch- and sucrose-intolerance. The aims were to examine participants' dietary habits at baseline, to correlate habits with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and blood levels of minerals and vitamins, and to examine the effect of a starch- and sucrose-reduced diet (SSRD) on GI symptoms. In the study 105 IBS patients (82 women, 46.06 ± 13.11 years), irritable bowel syndrome-symptom severity scale (IBS-SSS)>175, were randomized to SSRD for 2 weeks or continued ordinary eating habits. Blood samples, visual analog scale for irritable bowel syndrome (VAS-IBS), IBS-SSS, and 4-day food diaries were collected at baseline and after 2 weeks. Patients with irregular dietary habits exhibited higher IBS-SSS than patients with regular habits (p = 0.029). Women already on a diet had lower ferritin levels than others (p = 0.029). The intervention led to 66.3% of patients being responders, with differences in the change of IBS-SSS (p < 0.001), abdominal pain (p = 0.001), diarrhea (p = 0.002), bloating and flatulence (p = 0.005), psychological well-being (p = 0.048), and intestinal symptoms' influence on daily life (p < 0.001), compared to controls. Decreased intake of cereals and sweets/soft drinks correlated with decreased scores.

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