Nav: Home

Cedars-Sinai research identifies gut gas linked to diarrhea

June 05, 2018

LOS ANGELES (June 5, 2018) - Cedars-Sinai investigators have for the first time identified a gas produced in gut that could improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with two common intestinal illnesses--small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Patients complaining of pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and other gastrointestinal distress are routinely given a breath test to determine if they have small intestine bacterial overgrowth, an excess of certain bacteria in the small intestine. The presence of methane gas often explains the symptoms but has not been linked to diarrhea in many patients.

Now a large-scale clinical trial has identified the presence of another gut gas--hydrogen sulfide--among these patients who experience diarrhea.

"This is a game-changer because we now see the full picture of fermentation gases, and it is hydrogen sulfide that appears to be linked to diarrhea," said Mark Pimentel, MD, executive director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program at Cedars-Sinai. "We knew something was missing from the conventional test."

Pimentel's team unveiled the new study results at the Digestive Disease Week conference in Washington D.C., where Cedars-Sinai investigators shared other research findings as well. Pimentel, the study's senior author, said the new research by his team has led to the development of a new four-gas breath test device that should be available to patients by the end of the year.

"This novel device will allow physicians to better diagnose and treat small intestine bacterial overgrowth in patients. And the new tool will also be useful in screening for IBS--the most common GI disorder in the world," he said.

Disclosure: "Mark Pimentel, MD, Ali Rezaie, MD and Kapil Gupta, MD are involved in the clinical trial and named on the patent application for the new breath test device. At this time, there is no financial value associated with the filed patent, however, it is possible that the investigators could receive royalty income should the patent be licensed in the future."

Cedars-Sinai investigations presented results of a variety of other studies at Digestive Disease Week, including the following:
  • Gender differences in inflammatory bowel disease: Gender differences in the genetic underpinnings of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not well understood. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai's Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute, directed by Stephan R. Targan, MD, have identified gender-specific associations in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most prominent forms of IBD. The results of the genetic research suggest a closer look at gender may provide important insights into the severity with which IBD develops in male and female patients. The investigation was led by research scientist Talin Haritunians, PhD and Dermot P. McGovern, MD, PhD, director of Translational Research in the Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute.

  • "Creeping Fat" around intestines of IBD patients: Most Crohn's disease patients develop what is known as "creeping fat" around sites of inflammation in the intestines. Does this phenomenon protect the intestines or lead to further disease complications? In a study of the make-up and behavior of "creeping fat," investigators led by Suzanne Devkota, PhD, found that specific gut bacteria migrate to the fat tissue outside of the gut and stimulate that area of fat to grow. While this process may initially be a protective response to wounds in the intestine caused by Crohn's, the extra fat can eventually cause fibrosis, making the disease worse.

  • Mobile health and food symptom tracker: How good are we at accurately associating what we eat with the development of gut trouble? Research led by Brennan M. Spiegel, MD, director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai, tested a new questionnaire called the Food and Symptom Tracker (FAST). Investigators successfully validated the FAST questionnaire against existing measures. The findings suggest that FAST can be used as part of digital health apps for patients to more accurately track their food-specific gastrointestinal symptoms.
-end-


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related Inflammatory Bowel Disease Articles:

Are steroids used too much for patients with inflammatory bowel disease?
Steroid therapy is commonly used to treat acute attacks of the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; however, because it does not provide long-term benefits and it carries a risk of serious side effects, it should not be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease for more than three months.
FODMAPs diet relieves symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease
New research from King's College London has found that a diet low in fermented carbohydrates has improved certain gut symptoms and improved health-related quality of life for sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The diet-microbiome connection in inflammatory bowel disease
A change in diet is a go-to strategy for treating inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's.
Edinburgh is global hotspot for inflammatory bowel disease rates
Edinburgh has some of the highest known rates of inflammatory bowel disease in the world and the figure is expected to rise in the next 10 years.
Medication linked to increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease
Medications that target tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF╬▒), a protein involved in inflammation, have revolutionized the management of certain autoimmune diseases, but paradoxically, these agents might provoke the development of other autoimmune conditions.
More Inflammatory Bowel Disease News and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...