April Issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology Highlights Dietary Interventions to Address Common Upper GI Complaints

Bethesda, MD (April 8, 2021) – The April issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology features new clinical research including dietary interventions to help improve common upper GI symptoms, opioid prescription rates for GI conditions, evolving changes in fecal microbiota transplantation risk, endoscopy challenges in patients with surgically altered anatomy, insulin resistance and pancreatic cancer risk, comparing clinician and insurer perspectives to managing IBS, and more.  

Of particular relevance are three articles highlighted below. Access to any articles from this issue, or past issues, is available upon request. The College is also able to connect members of the press with study authors or outside experts who can comment on the articles. 

Food as Medicine in the Management of Common Upper Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Forde, et al.

This article discusses dietary and lifestyle interventions to help improve common upper GI symptoms such as GERD, functional dyspepsia, and bloating and burping. This includes limiting certain foods, tracking dietary intake with a food diary, and a short-term low FODMAP diet with slow reintroduction of foods to track symptom occurrence and identify problematic foods. The authors emphasize obtaining dietary history from these patients to incorporate dietary and lifestyle counseling as a first-line therapy, resorting to pharmaceuticals only when symptoms are severe or do not improve.

Increasing Rates of Opioid Prescriptions for Gastrointestinal Diseases in the United States

LeBrett, et al.

Opioid prescription rates for GI conditions were found to have increased annually, despite public health efforts to reduce overall opioid prescriptions. The study found that 76% of GI-condition-related prescriptions were renewals from existing prescriptions, often from non-GI providers, rather than new. Rates were highest for chronic pancreatitis and chronic hepatitis. The findings suggest that further efforts to deescalate chronic opioid use, advance alternative pharmacologic options, expand psychological interventions, and target GI conditions with higher levels of inappropriate opioid use are key.

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: The Evolving Risk Landscape

Gupta, et al.

The authors of this review article discuss evolutions in risks associated with fecal microbiota transplantation. The therapy has demonstrated effectiveness in treating Clostridioides difficile infection not responding to standard therapy. The article highlights that variability in how “FMT” is characterized (particularly in testing approach) impacts the risk profile, evidenced by rare cases of multidrug-resistant organisms. The authors emphasize that focus on standardization is needed to safeguard patient access to this essential therapeutic.

About the American College of Gastroenterology

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of over 16,000 individuals from 86 countries. The College’s vision is to be the preeminent professional organization that champions the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of digestive disorders, serving as a beacon to guide the delivery of the highest quality, compassionate, and evidence-based patient care. The mission of the College is to enhance the ability of our members to provide world class care to patients with digestive disorders and advance the profession through excellence and innovation based upon the pillars of Patient Care, Education, Scientific Investigation, Advocacy and Practice Management. www.gi.org 

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