Are You an IBS Patient with No Relief? You May Have Been Misdiagnosed

Are You an IBS Patient with No Relief? You May Have Been Misdiagnosed

According to Mark Pimentel, MD in the January 2018 issue of the American Journal of Managed Care, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is thought to occur in 11.8 percent of the American population. IBS occurs more frequently in women than in men and in those aged 30 to 49 years. IBS symptoms can include chronic abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation, excessive gas and bloating, and even fatigue.

Individuals with IBS typically attempt to control their symptoms through diet, medication, and alternative medicine such as acupuncture or herbal supplements. For some individuals diagnosed with IBS, it may seem that nothing they do brings any relief to their symptoms. But, it’s possible that an individual may have been misdiagnosed with IBS when the symptoms are really caused by a different condition.

CSID or IBS Symptoms?

Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID) causes gastrointestinal symptoms that are similar to those of IBS. CSID can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, frequent loose bowel movements, and gas and bloating. CSID is a disorder caused by a reduction in the activity of the enzymes sucrase and isomaltase. These enzymes are responsible for aiding the body in the digestion of sucrose – commonly known as table sugar. Because the symptoms of IBS and CSID are so similar, individuals may easily be misdiagnosed and continue to experience the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with their condition.

Food and CSID

Individuals diagnosed with IBS are often placed on a special diet called low FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols). However, a number of foods allowed in a low-FODMAP diet contain sucrose. If you have been diagnosed with IBS, placed on a low-FODMAP diet, and still experience gastrointestinal symptoms, this may be a clue that you really have CSID, not IBS.

When an individual with CSID consumes a food that contains sucrose, the typical gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea, gas and bloating occur. Severity of these symptoms may range from mild to severe. For individuals with more severe symptoms, dietary intervention including a strict elimination of sucrose may be medically necessary. But, a strict elimination diet should only be followed under the care of physician or registered dietitian.

Sucrose is commonly found in foods such as grains, beans, and certain fruits and vegetables including apples, carrots, and bananas. A diet free of sucrose may not necessarily eliminate CSID symptoms, however symptom reduction is typically seen

If you suspect that your diagnosis of IBS was an error, it is a good idea to speak with your physician. You can take this quiz before your appointment with your physician to see if a CSID diagnosis might fit with your symptoms. Your physician may ask you to record your dietary intake and symptoms before your appointment. Keeping a food journal helps you and your physician see trends in dietary consumption and symptoms. Your physician will be able to recommend further testing that may be needed.

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Sucrose Intolerance Is More Common Than You Think