Could the ibs–smart™ test be the answer for your IBS?

IBS is a stressful and oftentimes debilitating condition. Patients are put through exhaustive testing to understand the onset of their symptoms.  IBS is the diagnosis given when symptoms fit the Rome IV criteria, although commonly no other intestinal damage is apparent.

ibs–smart™ test was developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The test was designed to diagnose post-infectious IB (PI-IBS), which produces the same symptoms but is developed after an episode of foodborne illness. The test measures antibodies produced by the body following a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection of the GI tract. It is about 98% accurate. A simple blood draw can reduce unnecessary and invasive testing for patients.

There is still research needed to understand how foodborne infection can lead to PI –IBS, but some ideas include: 

  • Alterations in the gut lining
  • Changes in gut motility (movement)
  • Immune system activation 
  • Decreased enzyme activity

Though this test is promising, it still has some potential drawbacks. 

There are still questions about how broadly applicable this test is for IBS sufferers.  Not all IBS stems from foodborne illness. IBS with constipation (IBS–C) doesn’t present with the same characteristics as IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) or IBS with constipation and diarrhea (IBS-M).  Unless patients can attest to developing their GI symptoms following foodborne illness, it is unclear whether the ibs–smart™ test will give insight for all patients. 

So what is the takeaway? 

The ibs–smart™ test is a great first step in diagnosing IBS in a more timely and cost-effective manner, but should not be used as the sole diagnostic tool.  Talk to your doctor and see if the ibs–smart™ test is right for you!

MU

5 Safe Ways to Detox this Summer

Detoxing was once only known as a medical procedure to rid the body of dangerous, often life-threatening, levels of alcohol, drugs, or poisons.

Over the years, this term has been touted as a way to rid the body from toxins that cause symptoms from headaches to joint pain to depression.

The truth is, a detox lacks essential nutrients, such as proteins and fatty acids to keep our body healthy. In a healthy body, the skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, gastrointestinal system, and most importantly, the liver make up an astoundingly complex and sophisticated detoxification system.

Our lungs detoxify by removing gases, skin provides a barrier to protect us from outside substances, the colon detoxifies by eliminating waste from our bodies, kidneys filter toxins out of the blood into the urine and the liver detoxifies by filtering blood as well as secreting bile for digestion.

Here are 5 Safe Ways to Detox this Summer

1) Cut Back on Alcohol

In 2018, researchers found that 40 percent of American adults consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Ethanol has been identified as a known carcinogenic and can increase the risk of cancers in the mouth, liver, and breast.

Depending on who you are, drinking alcohol, moderately and responsibly, can lower cardiovascular risk

2) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide dietary fiber to help maintain bowel regularity. Fiber is even found in nuts, seeds, and whole grains. A variety of these foods support the body’s natural detoxification.

3) Unplug

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the instant gratification literally at our fingertips. We have the ability to order items and have them delivered within hours. We mindlessly scrolling through feeds without realizing how much time has passed. You CAN detox simply by putting down the phone and connecting with the people around you. Unplug for an hour or even an entire day, if you can. 

4) Move Your Body 

You don’t need to pick up a rigorous plan. Ride your bike, walk in the park, go for a swim. In reality, the best physical activity is one you enjoy, but also the one you can easily fit into your daily schedule.

5) Get your ZZZ

Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain in adults and children. Children as young as 4 years old can have adverse effects from lack of sleep. A 2013 study published in Science, showed that during sleep the glymphatic system lets fluid flow rapidly through the brain. The glymphatic system helps control the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The glymphatic acts as a “flushing system” to remove toxins, which appears to be the most active during hours of sleep.

 

If you have questions about how you can better support your body’s detoxification, contact our dietitians at Banister Nutrition. We can provide personalized nutrition counseling to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

 

Xie et al “Sleep initiated fluid flux drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain.” Science, October 18, 2013. DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224

Inflammation and Food

Inflammation is a sign of injury or illness. Increase inflammation in your body can be a risk factor for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Your diet and lifestyle can increase or decrease the amount of inflammation in your body.
 
To decrease the amount of inflammation in your body: 
  • Avoid overeating: More food than you need causes your body to make more fat cells. Studies have shown that eating 20-30% less food can decrease inflammation in your body.
  • Lose weight: A weight loss of 10% or more makes a significant reduction in the amount of circulating inflammatory markers.
  • Moderate carbohydrate intake: Foods that are low in fiber and high in sugar are inflammatory. Limit your intake of sweetened drinks, snack foods, processed foods and desserts.
  • Avoid trans fats: These fatty acids are mostly found in store-bought baked goods, snack foods, frostings, shortening and fried foods.
  • Limited saturated fats: We need some saturated fats but too much can increase the risk of chronic disease. Saturated fats are mostly found in animal fat, dairy products, butter, lard and eggs.
  • Increase your fruits and vegetables: Try to eat 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day. Look for ones that are deep green, orange, yellow, and purple.
  • Use olive oil when you can: Oil is very dense in calories but the fats in olive oil are anti-inflammatory.
  • Increase your intake or walnuts and salmon: All nuts and fish are healthy but walnuts and fatty fish have the most heart-healthy fatty acids.
  • Eat whole grains: Increase your intake of oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice. These are good replacements for bread and most cold-cereals.
  • Eat more lentils and beans: These super foods are a good source of fiber, protein, carbohydrate, and many vitamins and minerals. Consider few vegetarian meals a week.
Inflammation in your body is a great example of “we are what we eat”. Small changes you enjoy are your best bet for long-term success. Enjoy! mk

Adapted from Today’s Dietitian Vol. 16 No. 2 p 44-51