- A Charles Sturt University PhD student seeks Bathurst participants for exercise and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research
- The research will help understand the immune-modulating effects that physical activity has on IBD which is a chronic disease consisting of two main conditions - Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which are lifelong and incurable
- The outcomes will assist in the development of IBD-specific physical activity guidelines to optimise disease management
A Charles Sturt University PhD student seeks people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the Bathurst region to assist her research into the impact of exercise on IBD with the aim to improve treatment and outcomes.
PhD candidate Ms Kelly Baker (pictured) in the Charles Sturt School of Allied Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences in Bathurst said the Australian IBD (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) population is often estimated to be between 80,000 to 100,000.
She explained that new and ongoing research is essential to improve treatment for people with IBD, and she is particularly investigating the immune-modulating effects of exercise.
“This will involve analysing blood samples before and after exercise to understand the anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating effects physical activity has on IBD and how it may differ from people without IBD.”
“Exercise has been deemed safe and effective for people with IBD, however, unlike people without IBD who have the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines to reference for exercise, there are no specific guidelines provided for people with IBD that matches their inflammatory conditions,” she said.
“Although there are many factors to consider when developing physical activity guidelines, being able to understand the inflammatory response of exercise is essential.
“Once IBD-specific physical activity guidelines are developed, they can assist to optimise disease management.”
Ms Baker said that during her undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Exercise Science) she developed an interest in the gut, its interactions in the body and its contribution to an individual’s health.
Her interest in IBD grew as she gained an understanding of two main IBD conditions, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which are chronic diseases, lifelong and incurable, and how the Australian IBD population are underrepresented.
She then identified a research gap between the IBDs and exercise and decided to pursue this research.
Ms Baker needs 15 participants with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), and 15 participants without inflammatory bowel disease for ‘healthy matched controls’.
The research requires people with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) coming into the Charles Sturt University exercise science labs in Bathurst and competing in physical activity.
The current research inclusion criteria are:
- Medical diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Non-smokers, 18 years and older
- Absence of other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis (for clarification of this, people who are interested should contact Ms Baker)
The participants will primarily be from the Bathurst area because testing will be in Bathurst, however, it is open to anyone who is willing to travel for the testing sessions.
The research time frame will include three sessions in Bathurst; 1 x one hour; 2 x three hours, plus 2 x 30 minutes).
Session One – a familiarisation session – this will involve a blood sample, body composition scan, and a cycling fitness test, as well as other measurements like height, weight, waist and hip girth, and blood pressure. This will take approximately one hour.
Sessions Two and Three – the testing protocols – each session will involve a 35-minute cycling protocol (one session is a moderate intensity protocol and the other session is an intermittent high/low intensity protocol); a blood sample will be collected before exercise and immediately after exercise, 30 minutes and two hours following exercise. Participants are required to stay in the labs, so this will take approximately three hours. A blood sample will also be collected 24 hours after exercise, so the participant is required to come back to the labs for blood collection which will take 30 minutes (hence the 2 x three hours plus 2 x 30 minutes as above).
People interested or seeking more information should contact Ms Baker either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning her on 0478 772 325.
“Once potential participants contact me, I will provide an information package which includes details of all measures, activities, time commitment, confidentially, risks, benefits, and more,” Ms Baker said.
This research and a recent earlier project will contribute towards Ms Baker’s PhD thesis.