Celiac disease can mimic the symptoms used for diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome.
In this study, investigators from Iran assessed the frequency of celiac disease in patients diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome.
They evaluated 105 irritable bowel syndrome patients referred to a university clinic in Tehran over a 1 year period.
For each patient, an asymptomatic sibling was enrolled as control.
|11% of the irritable bowel syndrome patients had celiac disease.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The team performed serological tests for celiac disease in all patients and controls.
If the tests were positive, the team performed a duodenal biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
Any patients diagnosed with celiac disease were placed on a gluten free diet and re-evaluated after 6 months.
The research team diagnosed celiac disease in 12 of the irritable bowel syndrome patients.
Of these patients, 11 adhered to a gluten free diet. After 6 months, all 11 patients had significant improvement in symptoms and 3 were totally asymptomatic.
Furthermore, 6 patients underwent repeat endoscopy after 6 months of gluten free diet. Of these, 5 showed improvement in histological findings.
Dr Shahbazkhani's team concluded, "Celiac disease is a common finding among patients labeled as irritable bowel syndrome".
"In this sub-group, a gluten free diet may lead to a significant improvement in symptoms".
"Routine testing for celiac disease may be indicated in all patients being evaluated for irritable bowel syndrome".