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An Evolutionary Medicine Approach to Lifestyle Related Factors and Causes of IBS

This Club EvMed event occurred on May 14, 2024.

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This conversation was led by Dr. Mary Shenk and Makenna Shenk. Summary Makenna and Mary’s talk will take an evolutionary medicine perspective in understanding irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic digestive condition that has yet to be explored through this framework except in their own work. They will synthesize the current clinical literature from an evolutionary mismatch lens, focusing on the key lifestyle changes that are associated with IBS and how they are linked with the physiological systems that are likely being disrupted in its etiology. They will then dive into the limitations of clinical data collection and other methods commonly used to study IBS, and the shortcomings of interpreting the existing data within the mismatch framework alone. They will share her preliminary dissertation work which attempts to address key limitations and improve our understanding of the IBS causal cascade.


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