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The Link between Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Intestinal Bacteria

Dr. Soloman Shah MD


Soloman Shah, MD, is a physician at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates, PC, as well as an assistant instructor of medicine and physical diagnosis. An MD with over 15 years of medical experience, Dr. Soloman Shah pursues research in internal medicine and gastroenterology. One of his current projects explores the role of enteric flora--the bacteria that live in human guts--in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Inflammatory bowel disease can be divided into two distinct disorders. Ulcerative colitis is a condition marked by inflammation and sores in the digestive tract, and Crohn's disease involves inflammation that can lead to severe abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, and malnutrition. Though no cure has been found, both conditions can be managed with the help of a medical professional. Additionally, adjusting one’s diet can lead to a lessening of symptoms and even remission.

Recent research has identified the cause of IBD to be abnormal immune responses to intestinal bacteria. In a normally functioning gut, the human immune system tolerates the presence of a diverse ecosystem of bacteria, microbes that help with digestion. However, in people with IBD, the immune system attacks intestinal microbes and that very constant immune response causes the disorder. People suffering from IBD are known to have higher levels of certain bacteria in their guts, and it is thought that there is a genetic component that makes people more susceptible to developing IBD.

Soloman Shah, MD, is a physician at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates, PC, as well as an assistant instructor of medicine and physical diagnosis. An MD with over 15 years of medical experience, Dr. Soloman Shah pursues research in internal medicine and gastroenterology. One of his current projects explores the role of enteric flora--the bacteria that live in human guts--in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Inflammatory bowel disease can be divided into two distinct disorders. Ulcerative colitis is a condition marked by inflammation and sores in the digestive tract, and Crohn's disease involves inflammation that can lead to severe abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, and malnutrition. Though no cure has been found, both conditions can be managed with the help of a medical professional. Additionally, adjusting one’s diet can lead to a lessening of symptoms and even remission.

Recent research has identified the cause of IBD to be abnormal immune responses to intestinal bacteria. In a normally functioning gut, the human immune system tolerates the presence of a diverse ecosystem of bacteria, microbes that help with digestion. However, in people with IBD, the immune system attacks intestinal microbes and that very constant immune response causes the disorder. People suffering from IBD are known to have higher levels of certain bacteria in their guts, and it is thought that there is a genetic component that makes people more susceptible to developing IBD.

 

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