Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When flying leads to stomach pain

16.09.2013
Patients with a chronic intestinal inflammation often experience bouts of inflammation after a journey.

The main cause of this is not the stress of travelling, but the lack of oxygen experienced in an aircraft or during high altitude stays in the mountains. By taking this new risk factor into account further bouts can be prevented. This is the conclusion of a study supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

A lack of oxygen or the proverbial thin air, as is common at high altitudes or during flights, can trigger inflammation in the intestinal tract in people with a corresponding predisposition. Researchers of the Swiss IBD Cohort Study have now confirmed this correlation in studies of some one hundred patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In the month following a stay at high altitude or a flight, bouts of inflammation occurred far more frequently, as researchers led by Stephan R. Vavricka of the Triemli hospital in Zurich reported in their recently published study (*).

Travel stress is not to be blamed
Patients with IBD are often aware of the link between travelling and occurrences of inflammation and therefore frequently decide not to travel to remote destinations at all due to past experience. In general, however, the outbreaks are blamed on the stress of travelling or infections picked up abroad, says Vavricka. But the gastroenterologist and first author of the study is certain that a lack of oxygen triggers bouts of inflammation. A flight corresponds to a stay at 2,500 metres above sea level as regards the oxygen concentration in the air. The results show that flying and travelling to the mountains cause a similar increase in the frequency of bouts of inflammation. The correlation can also be proven in the laboratory using tissue samples that show an inflammatory reaction in the event of oxygen starvation, says Vavricka.

If stays at higher altitudes and flights are considered as major risk factors for bouts of inflammation in IBD patients, this can make patients’ lives easier. Doctors, for instance, will be able to prescribe medication before a journey, in order to mitigate the bowels’ reaction to the lack of oxygen and to prevent an outbreak of inflammation.

Environmental influences play a key role
The same group of researchers only recently showed that IBD patients also experience more frequent bouts of inflammation during heat waves. This makes it increasingly clear that environmental influences play a pivotal role in inflammation of the intestinal tract. Further research is needed to shed light on these correlations in coming years, so that doctors can be supplied with better information as a basis for their diagnoses. In this regard, several series of experiments utilizing pressure chambers are planned.
(*) Stephan R. Vavricka, Gerhard Rogler, Sandra Maetzler, Benjamin Misselwitz, Ekaterina Safroneeva, Pascal Frei, Christine N. Manserb, Luc Biedermann, Peter Higgins, Kacper A. Wojtal and Alain M. Schoepfer (2013). High altitude journeys and flights are associated with an increased risk of flares in inflammatory bowel disease patients. J Crohns Colitis online. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2013.07.011

(Manuscript available from the SNSF; e-mail: com@snf.ch)

Swiss IBD Cohort Study
With the aim of gaining a better understanding of inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD, specialist hospitals, private practice physicians and university institutions have come together to pool their knowledge. They are collecting the medical data of now nearly 2,000 affected persons who are participating in this long-term study. The study has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation since 2005.

www.ibdcohort.ch

Contact
PD Dr. med. Stephan Vavricka
Triemli Hospital
Birmensdorferstrasse 497
CH-8063 Zurich
Phone: +41 (0)44 466 13 17
E-mail: stephan.vavricka@triemli.stzh.ch

Abteilung Kommunikation | idw
Further information:
http://www.snsf.ch
http://www.ibdcohort.ch

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>