New blood test shows what foods can trigger IBS symptoms

Author: Amy Oshier Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Avoiding trigger foods and finding relief can be difficult for those with irritable bowel syndrome, but a new test can simplify IBS sufferers’ diet-changing process.

When Natalie Vasher makes dinner, she knows that means chopping peppers, marinating chicken and serving it all with a side of relief.

“I felt like I was in the dark for so long, not understanding what was wrong,” Vasher said.

Natalie began suffering from IBS in 2016.

“Gas and bloating and just not feeling like myself no matter what I ate,” Vasher said.

Vasher did what many in her situation do: a low-FODMAP elimination diet. FODMAP is an acronym for a class of carbohydrates that some people find hard to digest. The process of elimination can take up to four months.

But a new blood test called inFoods can cut that time down to between two and four weeks.

“The blood sample is tested for various antibodies to common food triggers in patients with IBS,” said Dr. William Chey, a professor of gastroenterology with Michigan Medicine. “Based upon results, an elimination diet is fashioned.”

It looks at patient reactions to 18 foods that can commonly activate an elevated immune response through the production of LGG antibodies. The results show if a food should be greenlit for consumption or not.

“Eliminating those foods, in our study, was associated with an improvement in overall IBS symptoms,” Chey said.

Natalie Vasher’s red lights are onions, stone fruit, apples and high-fat dairy products. Now, she can make adjustments to her diet that keep her IBS symptoms under control.

Biomerica’s inFoods IBS blood test needs a doctor’s prescription. It will be offered at Gastro Health locations around the country, such as the one at 7152 Coca Sabal Lane in Lee County, and will be offered at other medical networks soon.

The study took place at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, the Mayo Clinic and Texas Medical Center.

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