World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day

More than 10 million people worldwide suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are probably the best-known diseases grouped under this collective term. The course of the disease is sometimes so severe that it massively restricts the quality of life of those affected, which is why access to adequate healthcare is essential. In reality, though, this access is not always guaranteed.

The inflammatory bowel disease day was created to raise awareness for the needs and problems of the affected people and to create a workspace for experts to find solutions for appropriate healthcare for all people suffering.

One fundamental element is diagnostics, especially laboratory diagnostics. Advances in the field of laboratory medicine have made it possible to replace complex and invasive examinations, such as colonoscopies. One of the developments is the determination of total bile acids in stool samples. In healthy individuals bile acids, that are released into gastrointestinal tract during the digestive process, are reabsorbed into bloodstream via the large intestine. In people with inflammatory bowel disease, especially patients with Crohn’s disease the (large) intestine is often damaged in such an extent, that reabsorption of bile acids occurs to a sufficient level, which leads to an increased concentration of bile acids in the intestine. Due to their properties, bile acids lead to an increase of intestinal motility and inhibit the reabsorption of water. This in turn leads to so-called bile acids diarrhoea (BAD)1. Determination of total bile acids from stool samples is therefore a reliable marker in the diagnosis and assessment of inflammatory bowel disease. This not only improves access to diagnosis and assessment of the course of the disease, but also reduces the number of complex colonoscopies.

For information on the DiaSys assay for determination of total bile acids, please follow:

Total bile acids 21 FS – now available for human stool samples 

1 Walters JRF, Pattni SS. Managing bile acid diarrhoea. Ther Adv Gastroenterol. 2010; 3:349-357.