Tag Archives: Dublin

Getting to Know the Gut: A QS Dublin Report

Earlier this month, the Quantified Self Dublin group got together for an engaging evening of talks on gut health by members of the local medical community.

CDSA Explained

C52m2R_UwAAd6-M

Francesco Polito, a nutritional therapist, talked about the markers that are found in a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA). This is a test that he has his clients get to understand the current state of their gut. Francisco walked through the test results, explaining what each marker represented and what it could mean if it is out of range. It’s an incredibly fascinating talk and I will be writing more about it in-depth next week. In the meantime, you can watch a video of the talk and review his slides, which contain an actual CDSA report from one of his clients.

Video of Francesco’s talk
Francesco’s slides

A Gut Hormone Primer

C52vMLtXMAA7xwj

Natasha Kapoor, a researcher at University College Dublin, gave a primer on hormones in the gut. She explained the relationship that ghrelin has with appetite.  Higher ghrelin levels correspond with increased hunger. This is concerning, since lack of sleep can cause ghrelin to rise, meaning that carrying a sleep debt could induce you to eat more than you otherwise would. It may follow, then, to try and manipulate ghrelin levels to help control appetite. However, clinical attempts to lower ghrelin levels are not advised since it is a complex hormone involved in more than just hunger, such as cardiovascular function, sleep and memory.

Still, there are other hormones that play a role in appetite. Natasha described three hormones that have the opposite effect as ghrelin, making you feel full while eating a meal: cholecystokinin, peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1. She is currently recruiting subjects for a study on whether these hormones could be manipulated to control appetite through a “gut hormone infusion” method. As Natasha explains in the video below, there are more mundane ways of taking advantage of these hormones to reach satiety quicker, such as eating your food in a certain order (hint: start with the protein portion).

Video of Natasha’s Talk
Natasha’s slides.

If you live in the Dublin area, you can join their meetup group and be notified about upcoming events (like the next Tuesday!). You can also keep up with QS Dublin on twitter.

If you are interested in exploring more about the microbiome, we’ve had a number of interesting Show&Tell talks on gut health:

QS17

You can meet Justin and other members of QS Dublin at our next conference on June 17-18 in lovely Amsterdam. It’s the perfect event to see the latest self-experiments, discuss the most interesting topics in personal data, and meet the most fascinating people in the Quantified Self community. There are a limited number of tickets left. We can’t wait to see you there.

Posted in Meeting Recaps | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dispatch from QS Dublin: Results from a QS Community Survey

Today, we have a guest post from Justin Lawler, an organizer for the active and excellent Quantified Self group in Dublin, about a recent meetup. If you are a QS organizer, feel free to contact me about writing a recap of one of your events. -Steven

Recently, the Dublin Quantified Self meetup group gathered at the Dublin Science Gallery where Jenn Ryan presented the results from a recent survey on people’s motivations for tracking. We had an engaged group of people with health and wellness backgrounds, students, and the merely curious to discuss the current state of Quantified Self and how it’s impacting health.

Quantified Survey & The Potential of Personal Data in Healthcare

Jenn carried out the survey as part of her MSc thesis at University College Galway, trying to understand the motivations of those that track. A fitness instructor, Jenn is very conscious of public health and is always looking for new tools she can use with clients.

Some key insights from the survey:

  • A wide range of tools being used – from fitness trackers to phone apps to pen & paper.
  • Motivations for self-tracking included fitness goals, to tackling chronic diseases to self-knowledge & curiosity.
  • People found that the process of self-tracking was very useful for motivating behaviour change.
  • People found that once they started tracking biometrics, they didn’t stop once it became a habit.
  • People are not too concerned about the confidentiality of the data.
  • Overall people are happy with the tools we have.

Some charts from the survey:

image3


ToolsUsed

image7

 
 

“It is like when you are driving a car and you see the fuel gauge. If you couldn’t see the fuel gauge you would just drive on, but because you see it, you say ‘oh I am running low on fuel’ so I suppose if you see your weight going up or down, you can take action” -Survey Participant

Since survey responders were from the QS community, it wasn’t a diverse/cross-population sample. The respondents were high socio-economic status, educated, self-driven & curious. In other words, early adopters. There is still plenty of room for deeper analysis into self-tracking in wider population groups [See this Pew Research study for a view of the general public in the U.S. -Steven]

Jenn notes that there is huge room for growth as wearable trackers move to the early majority stage, as tools become more passive, easier to use and give more useful actionable insights. The Quantified Self movement will play a big part in the future of healthcare, as well as, efforts like the Institute of Medicine’s Learning Healthcare System which help healthcare iterate to provide better care.

Here is Jenn’s full presentation from the event:

You can follow the QS Dublin on their blog. If you live near Dublin, you can find out when their next meetup will be.

QS17 Tickets

You can meet Justin and other QS Dubliners at our next conference on June 17-18 in lovely Amsterdam. It’s a perfect event for seeing the latest self-experiments, debating the most interesting topics in personal data, and meeting the most fascinating people in the Quantified Self community. There are only a few discounted tickets left. We can’t wait to see you there.

 

Posted in Meeting Recaps | Tagged , , | Leave a comment