Looks like some investigators in the UK are looking to identify environmental triggers for Crohn’s and Colitis flares.
Basically, they’re going to sample people’s gut bacteria and given them questionnaires on their diet, lifestyle, and health over the period of 2 years, then attempt to find trends in the data.
This is the kind of study that makes me hate “evidence-based” science, because it is completely backwards. For the most part, we KNOW what those things are already. We don’t need some big data study to tell us what Sarah Wilson chronicles in herself, or what all the success stories at Mark’s Daily Apple point at.
Based on what I’ve talked about with other IBD people, and read about online, there are big triggers (ie, sugar), but then everything else is intensely personal.
And even then, it can be incredibly hard to tell. I once talked with a guy who kept a very detailed spreadsheet of his symptoms, food intake, sleep and then ran a statistical analysis on it. What did he find? Nothing helpful.
I wish these guys the best, but I’m not going to hold my breath that they find anything significant.