Chronic Constipation and Food Hypersensitivity - An Intriguing Relationship

A. Carroccio; G. Iacono


Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006;24(9):1295-1304. 

In This Article


There is abundant evidence from various groups of researchers which has clearly shown that a CM-free diet or a more restricted oligoantigenic diet can resolve constipation in paediatric patients with chronic constipation refractory to laxative treatment. A limited number of other studies, but not including randomized-controlled trials, have contradicted these data. A great deal of histology data strongly suggests that there is an underlying immune mechanism involved, but further studies must be performed to better understand the pathogenesis of the constipation because of food allergy. There has also been recent evidence that a few cases of refractory constipation in adults have been resolved on an oligoantigenic diet and, consequently, studies on the 'allergic hypothesis' should be encouraged, involving a greater number of adults with chronic constipation unresponsive to laxatives. At present, although several aspects must be further investigated, a therapeutic attempt with elimination diet is to be advised in all children with constipation unresponsive to correct laxative treatment. Adult patients with refractory constipation could also be placed on an oligoantigenic diet if they show some of the clinical characteristics recently underlined.

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