Dr. Mark Pimentel is the Associate Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology, and Executive Director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) program at Cedars-Sinai. He also serves as a Clinical Advisory Board member for Vivante Health, providing leadership and guidance on clinical best practices within our product, GIThrive. He is credited for developing the first blood test for IBS, discovering rifaximin for the treatment of IBS-D, identifying the auto-immune basis for IBS/SIBO, and developing the first multi-gas breath test for SIBO. He most recently published a systematic review in Digestive Diseases and Sciences entitled: “IBS is Not Associated with an Increased Risk of Polyps and CRC.” Below, we outline the key findings from the paper, and how we are incorporating this important research into our clinical practice at Vivante Health.
Behind the Study: Gut Health for Beginners
Before diving into the details, let’s spend some time reviewing some of the conditions that Dr. Pimentel was studying and why it’s important.
First, it’s important to know that IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), is one of the most common disorders seen by doctors. And yet, only 5-7% of adults have been diagnosed with the disease, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. Gut health is incredibly complex, which is why the research by Dr. Pimentel and others in this field are so important as we continue to learn and advance in our understanding to help treat the more than 70 million Americans who suffer from a digestive disease.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the world of gut health. Luckily, we’ve seen these numbers drop slightly over the years thanks to more people getting colorectal cancer screenings.
Finally, colorectal polyps play an important role as they often develop into colon cancer. What’s fascinating about Dr. Pimentel’s study, is the prevalence of colorectal cancer and polyps in patients with IBS had not been systematically reviewed before.
Okay, now that you’re caught up, let’s dive into the details.
The Role of IBS in Colorectal Cancer and Polyps
Dr. Mark Pimentel, known for his exceptional contributions to the field of gastroenterology, has long been committed to demystifying the complexities of gastrointestinal disorders. His most recent systematic review stands as a testament to his dedication to uncovering the hidden facets of gastrointestinal health. The monumental analysis included over 600,000 individuals grappling with IBS, alongside a staggering 2 million control patients, making it one of the most extensive studies of its kind.
Dr. Pimentel found that colorectal cancer displayed a downward trend in IBS patients, although not reaching statistical significance. However, Dr. Pimentel found a significant decrease in the occurrence of colorectal polyps among those diagnosed with IBS. This discovery has heightened awareness of the relationship between IBS and CRC.
Why Does this Matter?
Digestive disease is hugely misunderstood, and yet 40% of Americans’ lives are disrupted daily by some sort of gut trouble. Issues like IBS and Colorectal Cancer impact a staggering amount of individuals we at Vivante hope to provide relief to and care for through our GIThrive virtual care platform. By aligning with leaders in this field such as Dr. Pimentel, we can better shape the future of GI Health, while better managing care for our members. This study’s alignment with the latest American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) clinical guidelines further solidifies our dedication to evidence-based interventions. Vivante Health’s commitment to managing IBS and CRC is bolstered by Dr. Pimentel’s profound insights, offering a beacon of hope for those grappling with these conditions.
The Future of GI Health
As Dr. Pimentel’s pioneering research continues to reverberate across the medical landscape, it holds the promise of transforming the way IBS, colorectal polyps, and CRC are managed. With the newfound understanding of these interrelated conditions, enables us to deliver even more tailored interventions, ushering in a new era of personalized gastrointestinal care.
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