According to two studies published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Gastroenterology, people with inflammatory bowel disease are more prone to developing severe disorders of the respiratory and nervous systems. The studies found an increase in the prevalence of asthma, arthritis, chronic renal disease, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis, among other disorders. "These studies remind us that the effects of inflammatory bowel disorders extend to every corner of the body, including the lungs and central nervous system," said Edward V. Loftus, Jr., MD, author of an editorial appearing in this month’s journal and associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. "The findings lend credence to the concept that patients with one chronic inflammatory condition are more likely than the general population to develop another."
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that refers to both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. According to the most recent data from the National Health Interview Survey, there are more than two million prevalent cases of Crohn’s disease and more than one million cases of ulcerative colitis in the U.S.
Ulcerative colitis, a condition in which the lining of the large intestine becomes inflamed and ulcerated, most commonly affects people between 15 and 40 years of age. Common symptoms include abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, weight loss and rectal bleeding. People with chronic, severe ulcerative colitis are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Crohn’s disease causes chronic inflammation of the intestinal wall. While the cause of Crohn’s is relatively unknown, it usually starts during the teenage years or early adulthood and is characterized by pain in the abdomen, diarrhea and weight loss.
Kimberly Wise | EurekAlert!
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