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Irritable Bowel Syndrome: social media indicates that vitamin D is a good treatment – Oct 2013


70% of IBD blogers said high-dose vitamin D helped - 2012

Vitamin D3 as a novel treatment for irritable bowel syndrome: single case leads to critical analysis of patient-centred data
Eleanor F Sprake, Vicky A Grant, Bernard M Corfe
Molecular Gastroenterology Research Group, Academic Unit of Surgical Oncology, Department of Oncology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
Case Reports 01/2012; 2012. DOI:10.1136/bcr-2012-007223

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and debilitating functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract with serious and detrimental impacts on quality of life. Its aetiology is largely unknown and the identification of effective management strategies remains far from complete. This paper first reports, a case of a 41-year-old woman IBS sufferer who reported significant symptom improvements with high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation. The sufferer identified a substantial body of patient data surrounding this potential therapy on social media sites, and this paper, therefore, also reports the findings from a systematic analysis of patient-centred, internet-based data surrounding this phenomenon. Data from 37 IBS sufferers commenting on the effect of vitamin D supplementation on their condition were located; approximately 70% of these reported that high-dose supplementation improved their IBS symptoms. A randomised controlled trial into the effect of vitamin D supplementation on IBS symptomatology to test this association scientifically is merited.

 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Cited by 16 later studies as of Feb 2018

  • New and emerging therapies for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: an update for gastroenterologists - Feb 2016 PDF online
  • Vitamin D associates with improved quality of life in participants with irritable bowel syndrome: outcomes from a pilot trial - Viki Grant Dec 2015 -free PDF online
  • Vitamin D status in pediatric irritable bowel syndrome - Feb 2017, PLOS
     Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Novel IBS treatment is explored through social media 2012 - press release on above study


Experts from the University of Sheffield are using the power of social media to explore Vitamin D3 as a novel treatment to alleviate the devastating effects of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Scientists from the University’s Department of Oncology are investigating how a high-dose of Vitamin D3 supplement could be used as a novel treatment to ease the symptoms of the disease which is thought to affect more than one in three people at some point in their lives.

The pioneering collection of patient data 1 from social media sites such as blogs and social forums showed that up to 70 per cent of sufferers posting on this issue reported the supplement improved their symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating and altered bowel habits.

Lead scientist, Dr Bernard Corfe, from the University’s Molecular Gastroenterology Research Group, said: "Exploring social media in our research has led to potential new leads and insights into treatment and management of IBS. We are now planning to follow up this exciting development with a small clinical trial."

IBS is a chronic and debilitating functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract with serious and detrimental impacts on quality of life. The symptoms are debilitating and often cause embarrassment for patients meaning many live with the disease undiagnosed. There is no single cause, but changes in diet and stress can make symptoms worse.

The condition has a significant and escalating economic burden on society - as a consequence of lost work days and time spent on regular hospital appointment. IBS accounts for 10 per cent of visits to GP surgeries.

Researcher, Vicky Grant, has suffered with IBS for almost 30 years. She reported a significant improvement in her symptoms following an introduction to a high-dose of Vitamin D3 supplement approximately three years ago.

She said: "I was quite young when my condition started, only 13 years old, and felt embarrassed to talk about bowel symptoms. Often people see IBS as a joke, not a serious illness.

"I found out about vitamin D from a patient’s blog. The patient’s history seemed very similar to mine so I thought I’d give it a go. I wasn’t really expecting it to work as I had already tried and failed with lots of other therapies. The effect was actually quite dramatic. I’m not cured, if I stop taking the therapy my symptoms do return but it is proving to be a very effective management strategy."

IBS affects each patient differently and can be triggered by different things in each individual making the disease very difficult to treat. Patients can experience diarrhoea or constipation as a result of their symptoms or their bowel habits can alternate.

The University of Sheffield researchers are also collaborating with the IBS Network, a national charity for patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The organisation provides information, advice and support on all aspects of living with the condition.

The IBS Network are hosting a Wellbeing Day on 16 November 2013, at the Circle, Rockingham Lane, Sheffield between 10.30am and 4pm. Entry is free and visitors will be able to find out more about managing the condition as well as having the opportunity to talk to health care professionals and take part in cookery demonstrations, learn about relaxation techniques and emotional and wellbeing and IBS diets.

Vicky, is also leading the Storying Sheffield Knowing as Healing project, a participatory action research initiative, working with people living with irritable bowel syndrome. visit: www.storyingsheffiel­d.com/knowing-healing /or email hil a sheffield.ac (p) uk

If you are affected by IBS and would like to participate in the Vitamin D trial please probivit [a] sheffield.ac (p) uk


Vitamin D could be answer in IBS battle Yorkshire post, - Feb 2014

  • affects one in three people at some point in their lives.
  • accounts for as many as one in 10 GP appointment
  • I’m not cured, if I stop taking the therapy my symptoms do return but it is proving to be a very effective management strategy.

See also VitaminDWiki

Overview Gut and vitamin D contains the following summary

  • Gut problems result in reduced absorption of Vitamin D, Magnesium, etc.
  • Celiac disease has a strong genetic component.
    • Most, but not all, people with celiac disease have a gene variant.
    • An adequate level vitamin D seems to decrease the probability of getting celiac disease.
    • Celiac disease causes poor absorption of nutrients such as vitamin D.
    • Bringing the blood level of vitamin D back to normal in patients with celiac disease decreases symptoms.
    • The prevalence of celiac disease, not just its diagnosis, has increased 4X in the past 30 years, similar to the increase in Vitamin D deficiency.
  • Review in Nov 2013 found that Vitamin D helped
  • Many intervention clinical trials for vitamin D to prevent or treat Gut problems (93 trials listed as of Jan 2017)
  • All items in category gut and vitamin D 114 items

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
9309 IBS PLOS.pdf admin 05 Feb, 2018 17:01 1,001.66 Kb 18
9307 Vitamin D3 as a novel treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.pdf admin 05 Feb, 2018 16:34 108.84 Kb 17
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