Sponsored by: IBSchek™
Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects nearly 40 million people in the United States and approximately 15 percent of people around the world. Up to 70 percent of people living with IBS, however, do not consult their healthcare providers regarding their symptoms, meaning that many patients living with IBS still go undiagnosed.
Traditionally, healthcare providers have reached an IBS diagnosis only through exclusion by ruling out other possible conditions causing a patient’s symptoms. This exclusionary pathway to an IBS diagnosis would often take an average of five years, during which time patients would undergo costly and invasive medical testing and consult with up to four different healthcare providers. As a result, many patients would choose not to discuss their symptoms with their physicians or to seek a formal diagnosis of the cause of their symptoms. Without a diagnosis or a physician’s guidance, patients often do not know how best to manage their symptoms, which can be very painful and greatly impact their quality of life. Instead, many patients continue to suffer without any relief or answers as to what is causing their digestive issues.
But now, groundbreaking research published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE shows that there is an organic cause of IBS. One of the results of this research has been the development of a clinical laboratory test for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), which means that many patients may be positively diagnosed for this disease, quicker, more confidently, and easier than before.
This new research, conducted by Mark Pimentel, M.D., FRCPC, Director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Program and Laboratory of Cedars-Sinai, confirms that IBS-D can be caused by a bacterial infection which may be the result of food poisoning. The publication reported the results from a randomized clinical trial of over 2,500 patients revealing that, after this type of infection, elevated levels of antibodies directed against the bacterial toxin CdtB and also Vinculin, a naturally occurring protein, persist in the blood. This allows healthcare providers to diagnose IBS-D by measuring levels of these antibodies in a patient’s blood specimen. The study results also confirmed that patients with IBS-D have a greater amount of these antibodies (called biomarkers) when compared to patients presenting with similar symptoms but due to other medical conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
This research paved the way for Commonwealth Laboratories, LLC to develop and validate a new blood test called IBSchek™ that can provide patients with a quick and accurate diagnosis of IBS-D. IBSchek™ is a proprietary ELISA-based blood test which tests for two validated plasma biomarkers (anti-CdtB and anti-vinculin), which are predictive of an IBS-D diagnosis. Having a simple blood test for IBS-D, means that for the first time, IBS patients may be able to quickly and reliably determine the source of their suffering. This may eliminate years of costly and invasive medical testing and ineffective treatment for many patients. In addition, a positive diagnosis with IBSchek™ may help clinicians rule out other potentially dangerous medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which are associated with increased risks of colorectal cancer.
“The launch of IBSchek™ is an unprecedented step forward in the diagnosis of IBS. It is an exciting scientific breakthrough that can assist patients and healthcare providers to identify the cause of the disease, as well as provide hope and relief to the millions of Americans who have endured years of frustration and suffering associated with their digestive discomfort,” said Craig Strasnick, Chief Operating Officer at Commonwealth Laboratories.
Commonwealth Laboratories also recently announced an agreement with Quest Diagnostics to expand the availability of IBSchek™. Under the agreement, healthcare providers are now able to order blood draws on patients for testing through Quest’s over 2,000 patient service centers. This allows for greater and more convenient access to IBSchek™ so that many patients suffering from IBS symptoms can receive a diagnosis more quickly.
For more information about receiving a confident diagnosis with IBSchek™, visit http://ibschek.com/. If you have questions about IBS or if you are suffering from abdominal discomfort, heartburn, nausea, bloating, or gas, or have noticed a recent change in your bowel habits, talk to your health care provider.
Mayo Clinic. Irritable bowel syndrome. Web. October 22, 2015.
National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Definition and Facts for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Web. October 22, 2015.
Firstline Media. IBS. Web. October 22, 2015.
Pimentel, Mark et al. Development and Validation of a Biomarker for Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Human Subjects. PLoS One. 2015 May 13;10(5):e0126438. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126438. eCollection 2015.
Reviewed October 23, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith