Nonceliac IBS Might Be “Wheat Sensitivity”
Some patients with irritable bowel syndrome but without celiac disease improved on a wheat-free diet. After a brief look at the research, we come across this:
Comment: As an allergist, I am hesitant to recommend diet avoidance without objective evidence of food allergy or celiac disease. Although this study suggests that many IBS patients actually might have gluten sensitivity that improves with a gluten-free diet, the study was retrospective, and 15% of patients reported worsening during their placebo challenge (personal communication from the authors). Also, because wheat (and not gluten) was used in the challenge, poorly absorbed fructans could have been responsible for symptoms. I am not ready to commit to the diagnosis of gluten sensitivity, but, in hard-to-treat IBS patients, a 2-week trial of wheat avoidance might be worthwhile.
— David J. Amrol, MD
This is just short of insane, although the doctor more or less contradicts himself in the first and last sentences. Why hesitate? No harm whatsoever is done by avoiding wheat, and it may even be an actual cure, rather than ongoing medication or, God forbid, surgery. Unfortunately his attitude is all too common among the medical establishment.
Most patients aren’t going to know that dietary treatment might work unless their doctor tells them. But this doctor “hesitates” to tell them because… it might not work?