A prominent theme of the meeting — the way food affects health — will be reflected in a lecture on food allergies, sensitivities, and food-related illnesses by William Chey, MD, professor of gastroenterology at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and coeditor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
Dr William Chey
The association between food and gastrointestinal ailments has received renewed attention in the past 5 years; however, little credible research has supported specific dietary interventions for gut disorders, Dr Chey told Medscape Medical News.
"In the future, we will move beyond the current focus on elimination to a more inclusive view of food, which includes supplementation," he explained. "In so doing, we will embrace the words of Hippocrates, who said, 'Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food'."
Dr Ikuo Hirano
A lecture on eosinophilic esophagitis, a chronic immunologic disorder, and the foods that trigger it will be delivered by Ikuo Hirano, MD, director of the esophageal center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
The disorder is now recognized as one of the leading causes of dysphagia in children and adults. First described only 20 years ago, the prevalence in the United States is now approximately 1 in 2000, and rising, Dr Hirano told Medscape Medical News.
Current research has identified a link between dysphagia and an allergic-type inflammation of the esophagus, which can lead to increased wall stiffness.
"There are no FDA-approved therapeutics for eosinophilic esophagitis, but several medications are under active development," Dr Hirano reported. However, "diet therapies that eliminate targeted food triggers are highly effective means of arresting the esophageal inflammation."