Community Views on the Link Between IBS and Allergies
Last updated: May 2023
It is not uncommon for someone to have other conditions as well as IBS. These other conditions are not always limited to the gut. A whopping 52 percent of those who took our 5th Annual IBS In America survey also have allergies.
Knowing this, we asked our Facebook community, “Do you live with allergies in addition to IBS?”
We received more than 230 comments from community members who have both allergies and IBS. Some of the allergies you mentioned are:
- Baker’s yeast
- Environment (dust, pollen, animal dander)
- Food (shrimp, shellfish, eggs)
Here are some of our advocates' past articles about allergies and IBS.
The difference between IBS intolerances and allergies
Registered dietitian Melissa Halas wrote Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance: Which Is It? In this article, she explained the difference between food allergies and food intolerances. She also listed common food intolerances among people living with IBS.
“Once you rule out any food allergies, it’s important to take a closer look at foods that are the potential causes of your discomfort. If you suspect that one or more of the groups of FODMAPs is triggering your symptoms, a registered dietitian who specializes in IBS can guide you through the right approach to identifying those foods."
Is it an allergy or "just" IBS?
"The moment I knew something was off was when my symptoms became significantly worse in the span of 1 month. For my first set of symptoms, I noticed that it occurs when I eat dairy that is uncooked (e.g., yogurt). I went from my normal bowel movements that occur after eating dairy to being constipated. And after about a week, nausea, vomiting, extreme bloating, and an escalation of chronic pain were added to my symptoms."
Allergy vs. intolerance tests
Halas' follow-up article was called Standard Methods to Determine Food Allergies and Intolerances. In this article, she explained allergy tests for people living with IBS.
"If you think you have an allergy, visiting an allergist can make all the difference. He’ll ask detailed questions about your symptoms and your family history of allergies and then determine which tests, if any, are needed. ... Primary methods to identify food intolerances include food journaling and elimination diets."
Support for allergies and IBS
We recognize that not everyone with allergies has IBS or vice versa. We thank you for sharing and raising awareness about the link between these 2 conditions.
The 5th Annual IBS in America survey was conducted online from June 8 through August 3, 2020. All of the 1,930 people who completed the survey have been screened to have IBS symptoms.
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?