Imaging the effect of experimental stress on small and large bowel water during fructose absorption (CRH2)

1st October 2012

Status: Ended


Team: Professor Robin Spiller.

We have been developing new, non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to image the small and large bowel. Building on those studies we want to study, in healthy volunteers, the effects of stress on the water content of the small bowel following ingestion of fructose, the sugar found in fruit. This is important because in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there seems to be a strong association of stress and anxiety with the severity of the disease. Many IBS patients complain of food intolerances and recent studies have suggested that food with high content of fructose can worsen symptoms of IBS. We are in the process of carrying out a study in which we will induce a moderate state of stress in healthy volunteers using an injection of corticotrophin releasing hormone, feed them a drink containing fructose and image their bowel at intervals using MRI. Improving our understanding of the effects of stress and fructose on small bowel physiology will help us to better understand some aspects of the symptoms such as bloating, altered bowel habit and abdominal discomfort commonly experienced by the IBS patients, and to guide therapy.

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professor-robin-spiller Professor Robin Spiller Robin's main interest is in the pathophysiology of functional GI diseases, particularly focusing on the role of infection and inflammation and alterations in serotonin metabolism in the irritable bowel syndrome. He has twice edited the British Society of…
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