Friday, October 13, 2023

Genetic Basis of the Brain-Gut Axis in IBS

From Gene to Gut: IBS and Your Mental Health

    With the upward trend of brain-gut connection research, comes intriguing results. Researchers from the University of Oslo, University of Bergen, and University of California, have found conclusive results about the connection between genetic inheritance of IBS and mental health conditions. The sample size included 53,400 people with IBS and 433,201 control participants while they searched for genomic risk loci, or specific areas of interest in DNA sequences that appeared to correlate with the IBS and mental health conditions. IBS and mental health conditions are polygenic traits as they rely on a heavy influence from various genes, and many of these genes were found to be shared in the sample sizes. There were 70 loci identified in the connection between IBS and mental health conditions, with the results concluding: 7 associated with GAD, 35 with depression, 15 with schizophrenia, and 27 with BPD. Now, new connections and pathways between the brain and gut can be better examined and enhance our understanding of these conditions.

    This was a great article to read, and also put many things into perspective. Many clinicians neglect the fact that a physical medical condition can have an impact on your mental health, and I believe this data directly proves there is a definite connection between the two. Furthermore, IBS is often used to describe food sensitivity to FODMAPS, and most people with IBS are instructed to follow a low FODMAP diet; however, this alludes to the fact that maybe IBS shouldn't be classified as a food-sensitivity related disorder, but rather that of a mental health condition because stress and anxiety factors can trigger the same symptoms. In my opinion, this is a classical case of medicine placing an umbrella term for a condition that can have many different causes, but are neglected to be looked into any further. I feel strongly about this topic, and hope to change the narrative when I enter the medical field.

Links for further research:



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