Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Andrea Boyle, PhD, FNAP
Patricia Harris, PhD, RN
This paper explores the question: Can interventions focusing on healing the gut microbiome of a prediabetic patient prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes? Diabetes is a major health problem that is becoming the biggest epidemic of the 21st century. Efforts to derail the progression of disrupted blood glucose metabolism are often futile leaving patients frustrated with a lifelong burden of disease management. Recent studies suggest that collectively the gut microbiome acts as an endocrine organ and that injury to this “organ” can lead to dysfunctional glucose regulation. A comprehensive literature review revealed that further studies are needed to explore alternative approaches to restoring normal glucose regulation. This proposed quantitative, experimental study aims to explore the effectiveness of a weekly program focusing on the establishment of a healthy gut microbiome to prevent the development of diabetes. The proposed sample will be 100 prediabetic adult patients (ages 25-65) who will be randomly divided into two groups: a treatment (Group A) and a control (Group B). All participants will provide a baseline fasting blood glucose, A1C and a fecal sample before the start of the study. Group A will attend an intensive educational program that consists of hour-long weekly meetings for 12 weeks. Group A will attend weekly discussions of evidence-based research on ways to promote a healthy gut microbiome. Activities that harm the gut thus promoting the growth of pathogenic bacteria will also be discussed and discouraged. Group B, the control group, will receive usual care which may or may not include recommendations from a physician about exercise, diet and weight loss. At the end of the study, we will compare the two groups’ fasting blood glucose, A1C, and fecal microbiome composition.
Keywords: gut microbiota, gut microbiome, prediabetes, diabetes, glucose metabolism