Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Evidence for IBS Diets Tough to Swallow
Despite the number of diets that purport to help people with irritable bowel syndrome, rigorous evidence supporting their use is lacking, experts said here at the American College of Gastroenterology 2015 Annual Meeting.
When it comes to diet, "patients are leading the way," said William Chey, MD, from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. "They are proactively coming in and asking about diets, or they're already on diets, or they're seeing some type of alternative healthcare provider who has recommended a diet."
"It's difficult for physicians who perhaps don't spend a lot of time reading about this space to sift through all the noise," he pointed out.
Dr Chey likened the current situation to the 1990s television cult classic The X-Files, in which FBI special agents track down menacing paranormal phenomena. The show "would take some popular theme and sprinkle just enough pseudo-science on it to make it believable," he explained.
"I think that's exactly what's happening with a lot of diets; people sort of spread around a little bit of special sauce, a little bit of magic dust, say that it's 'clinically proven,' and then suddenly patients believe it as scientifically validated," he said. "Unfortunately, there are very few data supporting the various diets that are being used by patients with GI illness right now."
*** Dr Chey reports financial relationships with Actavis, Arelyx, Asubio, Astra-Zeneca, Forest, Ironwood, Nestle, Prometheus, Salix, Sucampo, Takeda, and Vibrant. ***
(always check on conflicts of interest before taking advice)