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Inflammatory bowel disease may be linked to heart disease

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

New research from the Mayo Clinic has found that there may be a connection between those diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and an increased chance of heart disease. Though the study was not able to pinpoint why exactly the two conditions were related, there was a distinct correlation between the two diseases.

New connections found in the study
Overall, the researchers found that those diagnosed with IBD, the most common forms of which are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, were about 10 to 25 percent more likely to encounter heart disease at some point than those without the digestive issues. The study, presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, could lead to some changes in the way that those with IBD are treated.

The study consulted evidence from 150,000 patients with IBD and compared their data to that of the general population to find the new evidence.

New treatments for IBD
Since IBD may be related to heart disease, managing heart health will be even more important for those with Crohn's disease, colitis or other digestive complications. Regular blood tests and cholesterol tests can help keep track of the progression of heart disease and the possibility of its development in patients with IBD.

Many treatments for IBD and heart disease are similar, including regular exercise, quitting smoking and reducing stress. Those with IBD should be wary of developing high blood pressure or hypertension, as these instances can aggravate heart disease, potentially leading to a stroke or heart attack, noted Medical News Daily.

IBD causes inflammation of the intestines when the body mistakes food for a foreign substance. This can cause damage to the intestines over time, which can make it more difficult for the body to properly absorb nutrients, noted LiveScience. Those who may have this disease should consider getting a lab test online for a proper diagnosis, which can allow for treatment to begin. While there is no cure for IBD, changes in lifestyle can prevent or lessen many symptoms.

Symptoms of Crohn's disease and colitis include joint pain, frequent diarrhea, fatigue, lack of appetite and weight loss. Children with this disease can become malnourished, while adults may have low bone density, so it is important to have lab tests for those who think they may have either of these diseases.

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