red semi circle Studies of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Study Title: Microbiome and Pain

Principal Investigator:

Margaret Heitkemper, Professor, Chair of BNHS, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems School of Nursing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic disorder which causes abdominal pain and discomfort. IBS is associated with diarrhea or constipation or both. The purpose of this study is to look at the association of the microbiota with pain or discomfort in women with IBS and those without IBS.

Study Description:

There are two parts to this study:

Phase 1:

The volunteer will complete a 2-week- mini diary and questionnaires.

Phase 2:

Beginning with her next menses, the volunteer will keep a daily symptom diary for 28 days.
a) The participant will begin a 3-day food record and collect a stool and 24-hour urine sample.
b) The participant will come to the University (or other designated location) to have her blood drawn
It will take up to 2 months to complete all parts of this study. There are no medications involved in this study.

Eligibility Criteria:

Volunteers must be female, 18-45 years old. This study accepts women with a medical diagnosis of IBS and healthy volunteers. IBS Group: The women must have a prior diagnosis of IBS made by a primary health care provider and current symptoms of abdominal pain or discomfort that are relieved by a bowel movement or associated with a change in stool consistency or frequency. They must have had a diagnosis of IBS for at least 3 months with an onset of symptoms at least 6 months prior to diagnosis before starting the study.


Women are excluded if they:
a) have a history of other GI diseases, diabetes, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis or co- morbid conditions that make it hard to assess IBS symptoms.
b) are currently taking daily anti-diarrheal, anti-spasmodic or proton pump inhibitor mediations (laxatives are acceptable if taken as prescribed or as recommended for over-the-counter medications)
c) consume more than 2 servings of alcohol containing beverages every day;
d) are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the study period or


Health Sciences Building, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington


Volunteers will receive up to $250 if they finish all parts of the study.
For further information about this study, please contact:
Pamela Barney, MN, ARNP (206) 685-5660