Health & Spirit

A tailored diet can ease IBS

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Many celebrities suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and have shared their struggle with this often painful and embarrassing condition. They include model and host Tyra Banks, TV's former "Wonder Woman" Lynda Carter and singer/songwriter Kurt Cobain, who revealed that he suffered from "constant" digestive pain.

As many as 1 in 10 people in the U.S. have IBS. Their typical complaints are abdominal cramping and pain, constipation or diarrhea and nausea. IBS is a set of symptoms that may be related to food choices, not a specific disease, so it often can't be treated with medication. That's why folks have been hoping for a blood test to alert them to what foods they're sensitive to, but there hasn't been much science to back them up -- until now.

In a new study, researchers performed a leukocyte activation test on blood samples from 58 patients with IBS to find out which foods triggered increased immune cell activation. Then they put some of them on diets based on their personal blood test results and put others on sham diets. After a month, patients on the personally tailored diets had "significantly" less severe symptoms. The researchers concluded that elimination diets guided by the type of blood test done in this study can reduce symptoms!

You also can try a FODMAP elimination diet (it takes out and then reintroduces foods that are fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols). Some studies have shown that eliminating FODMAPs can help alleviate IBS symptoms. Discuss these two approaches with your doc, and make a plan.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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