Dr. Pimentel explains IBS, food poisoning and new test
Summertime is nearly here…and that means more picnics, barbeques and food festivals. But food left sitting outside can sometimes lead to food poisoning – a risk factor for a serious medical condition, known as irritable bowel syndrome.
The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, from food poisoning every year. Food poisoning comes from eating contaminated food.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, and altered bowel habit. IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States (10 to 15% of the population) with two to three sufferers being female, one in three are male. IBS affects people of all ages, even children. IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the United States
A study had found an association between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food poisoning and had also showed that military personnel are at a much higher risk for the disorder than the rest of the population.
Studies that were conducted at Cedars-Sinai demonstrated that food poisoning triggers IBS through a cascade of neurotoxic events that affects the small intestine and ultimately leads to bacterial buildup.
“The better we understand this disease, the more tools we will have for fighting it,” says Dr. Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCPC, director of the Cedars-Sinai GI Motility Program and a primary investigator on the study. “We have now identified the primary toxin believed to trigger the transition to IBS. Understanding this toxin and its effects might eventually lead to a cure for IBS.”
I recently had the opportunity to discuss IBS and a new development surrounding the disease with Dr. Pimentel.
According to Dr. Pimentel “If you have IBS, often these patients go to the doctor; they suffer from bloating, changes in their bowl function, often diarrhea, and cramping, adnominal pain. The physician takes them through a number of tests, colonoscopy, barium studies or x-ray studies, sometimes ultrasound and blood tests. Everything turns up negative and they give them the diagnosis of IBS. Well patients are not satisfied they feel like they have a diagnosis based on finding nothing.”
Just recently a new blood test designed to help physicians quickly and reliably diagnose Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
“There is a new blood test based on the fact that patients previously had food poising and measuring antibodies in the bloodstream,” said Dr. Pimentel. He explains “Detecting a threshold of these antibodies gives a patient a positive test. This positive test can say you have IBS versus other diseases that cause chronic illness like this. So patients within three days can get an answer I mean literally by the time the blood arrives at the lab, within 24 hours the doctor will have a test result that says you have IBS, we can now move to therapy for you instead of the years trying to figure out if you have IBS or not.
“The physician in the office draws blood from the patient and sends it to the lab called commonwealth labs and the test is called IBSchek™ and essentially within a day of arriving at that lab, the doctor will receive a result and the patient will be told if they have IBS or not.”
For the first time ever, researchers have identified an organic biomarker for the diagnosis of IBS. Before the introduction of IBSchek™, a diagnosis of IBS was typically made after excluding all other conditions. This often requires multiple costly diagnostic tests over an average of five years to rule out other conditions before coming to a confident diagnosis of IBS.
Recent data has shown to be indicative of diarrhea-prominent IBS. The study was published in PLOS ONE, on May 13, 2015. IBSchek™ is supported by this statistically significant data from a 180 center, large-scale, randomized clinical trial of 2,681 (IBS n=2,375) patients, comparing those with IBS against patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Celiac Disease, as well as healthy controls.
“Data from this study validates our long-held suspicion that IBS is caused by infection, by way of confirming anti-vinculin and anti-CdtB as blood-based biomarkers that provide a differential diagnosis of IBS,” said Dr. Pimentel.
According to Dr. Pimentel “the best way to get information about this new development is to ibscheck.com and on the website there is frequently asked questions, patient portals and also doctor portals”.
Dr. Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCPC is Director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Program and Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Pimentel also serves as Assistant Professor in Residence for the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Read full bio.
IBSchek™ tests for the presence of antibodies that are created when intestinal microbes (called microbiota) are altered by acute gastroenteritis. It detects levels of an antibody to a toxin from gastroenteritis called CdtB (cytolethal distending toxin B), as well as vinculin, an antibody that forms against the body. While the test is more specific for anti-CdtB, the anti-vinculin component suggests that IBS may be an autoimmune disease. The two antibody levels are complimentary in further understanding IBS and together enable a differential diagnosis of IBS.
Source; Commonwealth Laboratories