Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick

Dr Fitzpatrick – Guts UK Trainee Network Award 2018

Institution: University of Oxford
Title: Effect of diet, nutritional status, and body composition on biologic therapy in IBD: The Oxford and Thames Valley Young Gastroenterologists Network (OxYGEN)
Project Start Date:  1 March 2019
Completion Date: 31 March 2021 (extended)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, is an increasingly common illness. It can cause debilitating symptoms, such as pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, and fatigue. It has no cure. Many patients need treatment with injections, called biological therapies, such as infliximab or adalimumab.

Ensuring that the patient’s blood level of these drugs is adequate is important for improving outcomes. Drug levels may be changed by body composition (the amount of fat and muscle in the body). Therefore, current practice of dosing by weight may not achieve the best results. We will examine how body composition in patients receiving these drugs affects blood levels. We will also assess how well we follow guidelines for assessing nutrition in our patients. We will then examine how nutritional intake is affected by disease activity using patient surveys.

This study aims to directly benefit IBD patients. It will help identify if new dosing methods could improve care for patients. It will help us improve how we assess nutrition for our patients. Finally, it will help us improve dietary support for our patients.

I am delighted that Guts UK are supporting OxYGEN, our newly-established trainee collaborative in Oxford and the Thames Valley, and our first IBD project. Nutrition is so important to our patients with inflammatory bowel disease, and this project will examine how disease activity affects dietary intake for our patients, and how patients' body composition affects their biologic medication requirement. We thank Guts UK for their generous support.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick