If it seems like every time you turn around we’ve got new medical study results to share, it’s because we do! Today, we’re sharing the results of another sub-study conducted under the original AIP medical study on the Autoimmune Protocol and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), published by the journal, Crohn’s & Colitis 360, and available for everyone to read for free! If you’d like to read the full article now, you can find it here.
How did we get involved in this AIP medical study?
In December of 2015, we were contacted by Dr. Gauree Konijeti, the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program Division of Gastroenterology at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. Dr. Konijeti explained that she’d like to undertake a medical study of AIP to evaluate its potential efficacy for patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. She asked if Angie’s online group health coaching program, SAD to AIP in SIX, could be used to help the study participants transition to AIP. Our answer, of course, was, “YES!!”
Medical studies take lots of time, planning, and money to get off the ground, but those original results were finally published in 2017. From that original study, Dr. Konijeti and her team undertook several sub-studies to extend the data that was collected, including the one we are sharing here on whether dietary changes lead to patients reporting an improved quality of life.
What was studied?
This study focused on 13 participants who were part of the original study and who all had active Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. The participants went through a 6-week elimination phase slowly removing foods that are excluded during AIP, followed by a 5-week maintenance phase. During the process they completed the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (SIBDQ) via an online survey portal, with data collected at baseline, and weeks 3, 6, 9, and 11. The SIBDQ measures patient-reported quality of life. The online survey also included open-ended questions regarding diet prior to study enrollment, sleep and exercise habits, and other health concerns. In addition, at baseline and follow-up office visits, additional information was collected regarding adherence to AIP, IBD activity, and medication use.
What were the results of this study? The big, simple answer is that quality of life improved dramatically! Here are some highlights on what was found:
- Among participants completing all 5 surveys, mean SIBDQ increased from 46.5 to 61.5 by week 11.
- As early as week 3, participants experienced significant improvements in bowel movement frequency, stress, and ability to perform leisure/sport activities.
- Overall adherence rate to AIP was 73.3% at week 6.
- The clinical benefits seen were experienced regardless of IBD medication use.
To learn in-depth about the study methods, measures, analysis, and results, you can access the full article here.
What does this mean?
Most of our community already knows it, but this study shows that it’s possible for AIP to meaningfully improve the quality of life for those of us with autoimmune disease. Even more importantly, it has the potential to impact quality of life over a very short time frame, while being sustainable. A high quality of life is often elusive for those with autoimmune disease, so much so that it’s not uncommon for our healthcare providers to tell us we “have to learn to live this way.” That is a demoralizing message and one that drives so much of our work here at Autoimmune Wellness. As we’ve so often said the goal of AIP is the individual’s highest level of health and wellness (in other words, quality of life!). This study shows that goal is, in fact, attainable!