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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) has become a more common diagnosis. The number of screenings for IBD has increased, drawing more attention to finding the cause. Researchers are finding that a change in diet, increased stress levels, and overuse of antibiotics may contribute to IBD by changing the gut microbiota (Skrautvol et al., 2011; Bernstein, 2010). Prebiotics and probiotics, an individualized anti-inflammatory diet, and lifestyle modification to decrease stress are all currently undergoing evaluation to discover a possible role in the reversal of IBD insult to the normal flora of the gut. This literature review examined IBD studies within the past eight years, including children and adults age 10-76, male and female who suffer from IBD and address gut microbiota. Articles were reviewed from EBSCO and PubMed. Cammorata et al. (2015) conducted research on fecal samples from patients with IBD (n=330) and healthy control (n=165) using a Dysbiosis Index (DI). Dysbiosis was associated with a score of >2. All healthy controls were <2 and IBD patients >2. This was confirmed with an Illumina MiSeq test with P=<0.001. Kabeerdoss, J. et al. (2013) researched biopsies from colonic mucosa of patients with IBD (n=60) compared with controls (n=30) undergoing screenings. A decreased ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes was identified in IBD patients with significance of P=0.0014 proving an altered gut flora in IBD patients. The population of patients examined with IBD who are able to restore their gut microbiota will likely decrease symptoms and decrease the need for long-term treatment with anti-inflammatory medications. Further research is needed to identify specific imbalances in microbiota with the application of results to create an individualized plan to restore gut flora as a key treatment to achieve and maintain remission in IBD patients.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Vicky McCleary

Publication Date



Gastrointestinal Microbiome; Inflammatory Bowel Diseases -- diet therapy; Intestines -- microbiology



Does Normalizing Gut Microbiota Decrease Exacerbation in IBD