Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 5-10% of the general population. Individuals are generally diagnosed with IBS after several tests – for ulcers, reflux, and structural issues – come back negative. At that point, sometimes an allergist is added to the equation, and then the IBS and allergy connection is recognized and can be treated.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) due to allergy comes in two forms:

  1. Environmental allergies can cause IBS symptoms. When pollen is inhaled, it can move to the bowel and irritate the digestive tract. IBS issues due to environmental allergies can be simple to uncover because symptoms will be worse at certain times of the year.
  2. Food sensitivity can also cause IBS, because as the food may create symptoms like an external rash on the body, it can irritate the inside too. A way to uncover this connection is to look for additional intestinal symptoms on top of those typically felt due to IBS, such as headache and fatigue.

Studies show that 20-65% of IBS patients attribute their symptoms to a food reaction, and those who experience atopic allergy symptoms are more than three times more likely to have IBS.

Because few treatment options exist for IBS, it can impact life severely. Many people report missing school, work, or family functions because of their symptoms. Studies show that IBS sufferers miss on average 13.4 days of work each year.

There is a solution. As a way to increase the quality of life for those who have allergy-related IBS, sublingual immunotherapy may help reduce or eliminate reactions. Once allergy testing identifies the allergies, treatment begins to build allergic tolerance.

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Success Stories

I “developed” allergies the first year I went to college. Before the change in environment, I never noticed allergies or they never impacted my quality of life. Upon moving to La Crosse, I noticed for the first time that I didn’t feel well in the late summer and early fall. I wasn’t sure what it…
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