Ongoing Research Funded by DHF

Revealing Connection between Blood Sugar Levels and Digestive Symptoms in IBD Patients

2022  | Disease: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Principal Researcher: Tiffany Taft, PsyD, MIS

Principal Investigator: Tiffany Taft, PsyD, MIS, Research Associate Professor, Director of Psychogastroenterology Research, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Department of Medical Social Sciences

Emerging research shows that changes in the body’s blood sugar or “glycemic variability” may worsen inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms such as nausea, bloating, and pain. Dr. Taft is first determining if glycemic variability is linked to symptom severity in patients with IBD and, secondly, identifying how the foods IBD patients eat affect their glycemic variability. Study participants will wear a continuous glucose monitor, like those worn by patients with diabetes, for 14 days to assess changes to their blood sugar levels. During this time period, participants will write down their daily IBD symptoms and complete a journal of what they ate and drank to detail their diets. The diet information from the food journals will be entered into a nutrition analysis software program to identify what, if any, aspects of the person’s diet affect their blood sugar, and how changes in blood sugar might affect their IBD symptoms. Understanding glycemic variably offers a novel approach to the diet puzzle for better managing IBD, improving patient symptoms and quality of life.

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