I read with great interest the article on IBS (vol 4 no 1). Many years ago I was diagnosed as having IBS.
Recently I showed my GP the article and requested that he carry out the tests mentioned in it. As he was not familiar with some of the tests, he wrote to a consultant, who replied:
1. The intestinal permeability probe is a research procedure and not ready for general use.
2. He has no idea what a blood serum test for gut fermentation products is.
3. The enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) test needed something to "search for" and this wasn't noted in the article. D J S, Romsey......
Harald Gaier, who recommended the tests, replies: In the last 10 years, as gut permeability measurement techniques have become simple and highly reliable, they have increasingly been used clinically as screening procedures for instance, to help distinguish between real food allergies and allergy like reactions due to defective intestinal filtration function (Dig Dis, 4: 83-92, 1986).
The gut fermentation test which tests for the appearance of short chain fatty acids, alcohols and other fermentation products in blood plasma caused a variety of invasive organisms in the gut, eg candida albicans, has been available at Biolab in London for five years.
The ELISA/ACT, used for suspected autoimmune, chronic viral or inflammatory disease, tests an individual's reaction to a large number of potential allergens or invasive agents.