IBS-80® is a new safe, painless, non-invasive way of identifying foods that may cause IBS. It uses traditional skin patch testing to identify food allergies by placing patches containing foods and food additives on your back for two days (no needles are used) and then looking to see if you have allergic reactions to any of the foods. If you have any reactions, you are instructed to eliminate those foods from your diet. For many people, when they stop eating the food(s) that caused the reaction(s), their IBS symptoms improve significantly or go away.
Your medical provider will instruct you to avoid direct sun exposure on your back for 4 weeks prior to having the patch tests applied. Sun may decrease your skin’s ability to mount an immune response to the test materials. You should also avoid taking any cortisone-containing or other immunosuppressive medications in the week prior to and during the testing.
Take a bath or shower the morning you come for your first appointment but do not apply any lotions or other products to your back after the shower.
On your first office visit the medical provider will apply the patches, either 8 or 11 depending on what you and your doctor decide. Each patch consists of ten individual wells containing different foods aligned on strips of hypoallergenic adhesive tape (see upper row left) and taped to your upper and mid back (upper row middle and upper row right). You must avoid excessive sweating and avoid leaning over/bending your back too much for the next 2 days so that the patch tests stay in place.
After two days, your medical provider removes the patches and patch test sites are outlined with a black marker (lower row left) and the first patch test reading is performed. At this point, you may bathe as you normally would except that you will be asked to avoid directly washing your back until after the final patch test reading 1 or 2 days later so that the black marker lines remain visible until after the final reading.
One or two days after your second visit, you return to the office for the final patch test reading. If you have any allergic reactions (lower row right), the specific food(s) will be identified and you will be given information to help you avoid those foods. It is then up to you to avoid these foods and see if your IBS symptoms go away.