Dr. Mutlu shares her current research on inflammatory bowel disease.
We are studying several types of healthy diets, and we are trying to see whether these healthy diets would make a difference in a person’s rate of flare-up of inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease has a waxing and waning type of course. It’s similar to having arthritis. There are periods where the person has symptoms which we call flare-ups, and there are periods when the person does not have symptoms which we call inactive disease or remission.
What we would like to do is to place people who are in remission, who are not having symptoms, on a particular type of diet, and we’d like to see whether we can reduce their rates of flare-up. Unfortunately, our current medications, even our strongest medications can prevent a flare-up in about 25 percent of our patients within a year. So up to about 75 percent of our sick patients would flare up, and minimizing the number of flare-ups could add significantly to their quality of life.
Specifically, we’re also studying dietary supplements which are pre-biotic supplements, supplements that promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. We hope that this, the set of good bacteria that is promoted in the intestine would reduce the inflammation in the intestine, which is the, is typically the cause of the symptoms in most patients with severe inflammatory bowel disease.
About Dr. Mutlu, M.D.:
Dr. Ece A. Mutlu, M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in gastroenterology and nutrition, and her research interests include diet therapy in inflammatory bowel disease, role of microbiological flora on gastrointestinal illness, role of nutrition in gastrointestinal disease, complementary and alternative medicine for gastrointestinal disease, and antioxidant treatment of radiation proctitis.