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Impact of Food Allergies on the GI Tract and Headaches

Food hypersensitivity often triggers chronic gastro intestinal or GI disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn's Disease (CD), diarrhoea, bloating etc. Immunoglobulin G, which is produced as a reaction to certain foods, is responsible for many IgG food allergies. IBS and CD are the most common GI disorders.

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

This distressing condition prevents people from working efficiently, following a stable routine or travelling little distances. The symptoms manifest themselves in subtle ways in some and complicated ways in others.

Causes and diagnosis of IBS:

While there is no specific means of diagnosing IBS, the method of exclusion is the only way of diagnosing it. The symptoms are carefully observed and the underlying ailments responsible for it are discovered. The cause of IBS is not well defined wither. One of the known triggers is a low grade inflammation caused by raised levels of IgG antibodies.

Scientific approach to IBS and IgG:

If an IgG food allergy causes the IBS, Food Allergy Test can be the test used to isolate the food causing the allergy. IBS discomfort can be reduced by following the elimination diet and the nutritional guidelines listed by them can help one enjoy their meals. Some of the other ways of controlling the symptoms are through laxatives and stool softeners.

Studies and researches carried out time and again have supported the relation of high IgG antibody levels to IBS. A study "Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a randomised controlled trial", Atkinson et al. 2003 (Gut 2004; 53: 1459-1464) was carried out for 12 weeks on some patients. This group had a mild form of IBS with no complaints of Celiac disease or lactose intolerance. While one group was on a sham diet, the other was on a diet free of foods with a high IgG. The patients of this group showed significant improvement in their IBS symptoms. A second study "The value of eliminating foods according to food-specific Immunoglobulin G antibodies in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhoea" by Hon Guo et al. 2010 (The Journal of International Medical Research 2012; 40:204-210) had similar conclusions as the first one.

Migraine:

Long lasting headaches that are intense and followed by throbbing or pulsating aches on either side of the head are known as migraines. The exact causes are unknown. However, a food allergy could trigger a migraine. Alcohol consumption, imbalance in the sleep-wake rhythm, tress etc. also contribute to migraines.

Scientific approach to Migraine and IgG:

Migraines could be caused by Type III food allergies that trigger inflammations. In 2010, the first double-blind randomized cross-over trial was published ("Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: a clinical double-blind, randomized, cross-over trial" Alpay K et al. Cephalalgia 2010; 30 (7): 829-837). Food Allergy Test is helpful in identifying potential migraine triggering foods. The study participants who were put on an elimination diet free of IgG positive food reported around 30% fewer migraine attacks. These studies proved that eliminating IgG antibody triggering foods reduces migraine and IBS symptoms.