Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Fecal Microbial Transplant
“The fecal microbiome is key to understanding why IBD occurs and will be key to its treatment and hopefully one day, its cure.” –Dr. David Suskind
IBD is a disease of the twentieth century and has increased dramatically over the last fifty years. This disorder, which can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood in the stool and nutritional deficiencies, affects over a million Americans. One quarter of patients with IBD present during childhood. Research has shown that there is a genetic component to IBD with over 100 different genes associated with Crohn’s disease and/or Ulcerative colitis. However, these genes have been within our ancestors for millennium, and if IBD were purely a genetic disease, we should be able to see evidence of the disease throughout history. Instead, IBD has just recently become relatively commonplace.
Why is IBD on the increase in modern times? What new triggers cause the immune system to attack the body? Some scientific evidence points to the fecal microbiome, the community of bacteria within our bowels, as the prime suspect. A fecal microbiome that has been altered by modern lifestyles (diet, antibiotics, environmental factors) might produce the triggers leading to IBD. Our IBD research program is delving into how changing (or restoring) the fecal microbiome to a more natural state through fecal microbial transplant and diet might reduce the inflammation and symptoms associated with IBD.
We have recently finished the first fecal microbiota transplant study in Crohn's disease and are now moving forward with our follow up study, a double blinded placebo control trial of fecal microbial transplant in Crohn’s disease. Additionally, we recently published the first case series on the Specific Carbohydrate diet in Crohn’s disease (J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Jan;58(1):87-91), and are examining the impact of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet on the fecal microbiome and its effects on ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Your support can help move these studies forward as part of our efforts to cure IBD.
Dr. David Suskind
This information was submitted and was authorized for publication by Mark Ruffo.