Studies seeking subjects: alternative remedies for ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease

Studies seeking subjects: alternative remedies for ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease

There are two new research studies commencing regarding inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) at Rush University Medical Center. These studies plan to investigate the impact of mind related medicine on patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC) and the impact of diet on Crohn's Disease (CD.)

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a set of chronic inflammatory diseases of the intestinal tract. They cause a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding. These diseases involve constant cycles of flare-ups and remission, and over the course of each disease, most patients will undergo surgery for complications. Together, they affect about one million Americans. While they can occur at any age, most patients suffer from these diseases in their twenties.

There are two major types of IBD: Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  The former is characterized by ulcers, and inflammation in the innermost lining of the large intestine or colon and the rectum. Crohn's Disease, sometimes called ileitis or enteritis, is a gastrointestinal disorder which is indicated by chronic inflammation of the wall of any part digestive tract, but is usually centered in the small intestine's ileum.

These two studies are led by Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, director of digestive diseases and nutrition at Rush. According to him, the causes of IBD are largely bacterial. "Both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are due to an autoimmune response to the bacteria or bacterial antigens inside the intestines," he says. "Basically, the immune system is having an abnormally aggressive reaction to the bacteria."

He states that the goals of these studies are aimed towards alternative methods of creating stability for the patient: "We want to control flare-ups of the diseases... Unfortunately, the treatments for IBD can be toxic and risky.  There are increased risks of cancer, infection and even death as a result of IBD treatment. That's why we're looking at how diet as well as stress relate to the flare-ups.  It may be that if we can lower stress and get the right diet, we may be able to control these illnesses."

The first study aims to do this for patients suffering from UC. Namely, they hope to find out if complementary and alternative medicine techniques can reduce symptoms where conventional medicine has failed. One direction they have investigated is the role of stress. "We're looking at the relationship between stress and ulcerative colitis flare-ups," states Dr. Sharon Jedel, clinical psychologist in the section of gastroenterology at Rush and the study's co-investigator.  "The trial includes education about stress and training individuals in certain stress reduction techniques using alternative therapies."Keshavarzian continues, "Approximately 40 percent of patients with IBD use complementary and alternative medicine; however, there is a lack of scientific evidence of the efficacy... Complementary treatments and services are a large, yet hidden section of our health care system."

Rush is presently seeking 100 subjects who are suffering from moderately severe UC and who have experienced a flare-up in th elast six months. These subjects will be evaluated after being assigned randomly to one of two possible courses on mind and body medicine. For more information about this study, please contact Mary Marshall at 312-942-2845.

The second study hopes to examine Crohn's disease in the context of dietary remedies, namely, those that will promote the growth of good bacteria in the patient's intestinal flora. "We're trying to get improve the mix of bacteria in the intestines of patients with IBD. Imagine making a picture with different colors," said Dr. Ece A. Mutlu, gastroenterologist at Rush. "It could be terrible or harmonious depending on the composition and quantity of certain colors. We're trying to create a harmonious environment in the intestines with the right types of bacteria." He continues, noting that Rush's research is attempting to find cures with as few side effects as possible. "One of the many advantages of coming to Rush is that we're looking for alternatives to IBD treatment that may have less side effects," he says. "Our hope is to find a number of solutions to control these debilitating diseases."

This study seeks 90 participants with Crohn's disease to test diet adjustments and supplements. For more information, contact Susan L. Mikolaitis at 312-563-3892.

About Rush University

Rush University Medical Center is an academic medical center that encompasses the more than 600 staffed-bed hospital (including Rush Children's Hospital), the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center and Rush University.  Rush University, with more than 1,270 students, is home to one of the first medical schools in the Midwest, and one of the nation's top-ranked nursing colleges. Rush University also offers graduate programs in allied health and the basic sciences.  Rush is noted for bringing together clinical care and research to address major health problems, including arthritis and orthopedic disorders, cancer, heart disease, mental illness, neurological disorders and diseases associated with aging.

What are the common mimics of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease? (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Disease