It understand that there are some sugars in wheat that some people cannot digest and that would risk them in IBS but I don't ask about drugs that fight IBS, which make intestines move slower and stuff like that.

Sources for example:

I ask if there is evidence that digestion of sugars and substances that may help to prevent IBS such as lactase for lactose in such people.
I don't mean to ask about celiac disease or other kind of allergy.

Are there drugs that help to digest wheat?

  • What have you found in your research so far?
    – Carey Gregory
    Dec 29, 2019 at 23:36
  • @Carey Gregory Nothing, that's why I posted it here. I understand I had to make my search, I did, but that's how it is.
    – R S
    Dec 30, 2019 at 10:20
  • What @CareyGregory is talking about is that you haven't cited any sources of information where you got the notion that there are some sugars in wheat humans cannot digest and that is causing IBS. Where did you get this information? Dec 30, 2019 at 12:56
  • @Chris Rogers it's not my writing, somebody edited it that way, in general it was useful editing though. I mean certain person has problems with digesting some sugars in wheat.
    – R S
    Dec 30, 2019 at 13:49
  • @Carey Gregory Chris Rogers thinks you misunderstood me, hence read comment above.
    – R S
    Dec 30, 2019 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


In short:

  1. There are digestive enzymes available as supplements (amylase, cellulase, alpha-glycosidase) that can help digest starch and certain types of fiber in wheat.
  2. There is no convincing evidence to say that taking such enzymes helps relieve symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not caused by lack of digestive enzymes but by increased sensitivity of the gut (WebMD). The sensitivity at least partly arises from psychological factors and the mechanism involved is known as the brain-gut axis (Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2012 ; Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2018). There is no exact list of foods/nutrients that would cause symptoms and different people can be sensitive to different things.


1) Over-the-Counter Enzyme Supplements: What a Clinician Needs to Know (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2014):

Current evidence does not permit endorsement of the use of supplemental enzymes to treat common gastrointestinal tract symptoms, such as bloating, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome.

2) Does oral α-galactosidase relieve irritable bowel symptoms (Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 2016):

We found no evidence to support the use of AG routinely in IBS patients.

Diet in IBS:

Various elimination diets may help to relieve symptoms in individuals with IBS:

  • Avoiding foods/nutrients, which one finds as irritant from personal observation, for example, caffeine, chocolate, fried foods and margarine (Harvard.edu)
  • A low-FODMAP diet with avoiding fructose, lactose, oligosaccharides and polyols (such as sorbitol) - see a detailed answer here on Medical SE. But then, a FODMAP diet alone may not be enough (study review: one, two, three, four) and one should consider discussing about personal problems with qualified professionals.

In conclusion:

It seems to be more effective to avoid irritant foods/nutrients than trying to force-digest them with extra enzymes.

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