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Loneliness Triggers Inflammatory Illnesses new
      #363404 - 02/10/11 10:05 AM
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Loneliness Triggers Inflammatory Illnesses

LOS ANGELES—UCLA researchers reported today that chronically lonely people may be at a higher risk for certain types of inflammatory disease, because their feelings of social isolation trigger the activity of pro-inflammatory immune cells.

The research appears in the Feb. 7-11 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In their analysis of 93 older adults, the researchers screened for gene function among different types of immune cells and found that genes originating from two particular cell types—plasmacytoid dendritic cells and monocytes—were overexpressed in chronically lonely individuals, compared with the remainder of the sample. These cell types produce an inflammatory response to tissue damage, and are part of the immune system's first line of defense, which produces an immediate inflammatory response to tissue damage.

It's this same inflammatory response that, over the long-term, can promote cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegeneration.

The report provides further evidence of how lifestyle and social environments can impact human health. In addition, the researchers suggest that evolutionarily ancient immune system cells may have developed a molecular sensitivity to our social environment in order to help defend us against socially transmitted pathogens.

The authors are Steven Cole, a member of the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, an associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology–oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and a member of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Other authors were Lewis C. Hawkley and Jesusa M. Arevalo of UCLA, and John T. Cacioppo of the University of Chicago.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Norman Cousins Center at UCLA, the John Templeton Foundation, and the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust.

Source: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

http://www.endonurse.com/news/2011/02/study-loneliness-triggers-inflammatory-illnesses.aspx

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As Nations Develop, So May Bowel Disease new
      #366646 - 01/09/12 12:01 PM
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As Nations Develop, So May Bowel Disease

Related Health News

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is becoming more common around the world, according to a new study.

Researchers who analyzed data from all population-based studies about the incidence and/or prevalence of IBD found that the rate of new cases is increasing or stable in virtually every region of the world that has been studied. Canada and Europe had the highest number of cases, while Asia had a lower prevalence, the investigators found.

IBD has been rare in developing nations, but incidence of the disease has increased as these countries become more industrialized, according to study lead author Dr. Gilaad Kaplan, of the University of Calgary, and colleagues.

IBD includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's involves inflammation and ulceration in the deep layers of the intestinal wall. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss and occasional bleeding. Ulcerative colitis occurs in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea and rectal bleeding.

The researchers found that incidence rates for both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis were highest among people aged 20 to 40. This means that these diseases affect people in what are typically the most healthy and productive years of life, resulting in long-term cost to the patients, health care systems and society, the study authors noted.

The study is published in the January issue of the journal Gastroenterology.

"Insight into the worldwide epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease is important for the identification of geographic patterns and time trends," Kaplan said in a news release from the American Gastroenterological Association.

"Our findings will help researchers estimate the global public health burden of inflammatory bowel disease so that appropriate health care resources are allocated, and targeted research is conducted in specific geographic regions," he added.


SOURCE: American Gastroenterological Association, news release, Jan. 4, 2012
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
This is a story from HealthDay, a service of ScoutNews, LLC.

http://generic.e-healthsource.com/index.php?p=news1&id=660456

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Kids With Crohn’s Disease, Colitis Often Struggle at School
      #367290 - 04/23/12 01:22 PM
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Kids With Crohn's Disease, Colitis Often Struggle at School

Frequent absences, depression can affect how well students with bowel disease do academically.

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Children with inflammatory bowel disease may have difficulty in school due to frequent absences that are largely the result of mental struggles such as depression rather than the disease itself, a new study finds.

Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, had students aged 11 to 17 years with and without inflammatory bowel disease -- which generally takes the form of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis -- answer questionnaires about their mental health, school functioning and quality of life. Schools provided report cards and school absence information.

Children with the condition missed more days of school than healthy kids, and those who missed lots of school had lower grade point averages, according to the study.

Kids with inflammatory bowel disease were also at risk of "internalizing" problems, such as depression, according to the study. Kids who were struggling more mentally also tended to have more absences.

"Youth with [inflammatory bowel disease] are at increased risk for depression, so the finding that internalizing problems are associated with school absence is a particular concern with important implications," said lead study author Laura Mackner, an investigator in the hospital's Center for Biobehavioral Health, in a hospital news release.

The study recently appeared in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include abdominal pain, fatigue and diarrhea. Children may be prescribed corticosteroids, which may affect learning and memory, or have to take intravenous medication requiring hours in an infusion clinic, according to Dr. Wallace Crandall, director of the hospital's Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

"Both [inflammatory bowel disease] and its treatment have the potential to disrupt school functioning," Crandall said in the release.

The study authors noted that most of the children studied were in remission or had only a mild form of the disease, so it's unclear if their findings would apply to children with more severe cases.


SOURCE: Nationwide Children's Hospital, news release, Feb. 14, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

http://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/hd/26852

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Smoking makes Crohn's disease worse new
      #367424 - 05/09/12 01:33 PM
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Smoking makes Crohn's disease worse

BALTIMORE -

Crohn's disease is an uncomfortable autoimmune disease that can be made worse by smoking, according to doctors.

Crohn's causes the body to attack itself. It happens in the gastrointestinal tract and causes inflammation of the intestines, as well as pain and diarrhea.

Mercy Medical Center's Dr. Richard Desi said smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop Crohn's.

"It's also shown that with Crohn's, smoking can cause flares and a recurrence of the disease, especially after you've had surgery," he said.

He said the theory is that it's exacerbated by the nicotine effect or from smoke by-products. But there is good news for those who quit.

"If you quit smoking, about a year out, it puts you back in a category as if you had never smoked, in terms of flares, recurrence and severity of the disease," Desi said.

Tiffany Delaney was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when she was 17.

"For years, I had terrible stomach pains. I was always balled over in pain, I didn't want to eat. I was getting sick for no reason, and my parents said, 'We've got to figure out what's wrong,'" she explained.

Delaney had never heard of Crohn's disease, so she smoked while she had it.

"I smoked from when I went to college on, for about 10 years," she said.

Delaney's first major flare was when she was 25 and still smoking, and she had to be hospitalized for four days.

"Especially for Crohn's patients, there are always things to alleviate pain. But (quitting smoking) should be the first one," she said.

For smokers, quitting could be just as good as taking medicine for Crohn's, doctors said. Quitters have a 65 percent lower risk of a flare-up and are less likely to need steroids or other medications.

Copyright 2012 by WBALTV.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.wbaltv.com/news/health/Woman-s-Doc-Smoking-makes-Crohn-s-disease-worse/-/9379230/11643652/-/item/0/-/r1h4ewz/-/index.html

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Inflammatory bowel, ulcerative colitis linked to intestinal fungi new
      #367614 - 06/15/12 01:23 PM
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By Thomas H. Maugh II

June 8, 2012, 9:44 a.m.

Bacteria in the gut play a crucial role in human health, and imbalances in bacterial populations can contribute to many disorders. New research suggests that fungi, though not as common in the intestines as bacteria, may also play a role in causing and modulating disease.

The results could lead to new treatments for conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. An estimated 1.4 million Americans have some form of inflammatory bowel disease, which can cause inflammation, ulcers in the bowel, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding, fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite. An additional 30,000 cases are diagnosed annually.

An estimated 100 trillion individual bacteria reside in the intestines -- more than the number of cells in the human body. They play crucial roles, such as aiding digestion of food, producing necessary vitamins and suppressing the growth of harmful microbes.

But according to Dr. David M. Underhill of the Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, there has been little corresponding study of fungi in the intestine.

Working with mice, Underhill and his colleagues looked for fungal DNA in the animals' bowels. The team reported this week in the journal Science that they identified more than 100 species. "We were truly stunned to see just how common fungi are," he said.

The body's immune response to fungi is mediated by a protein called Dectin-1, which is produced by white blood cells and kills fungi. The team found that mice with a defective form of Dectin-1 were far more susceptible to developing ulcerative colitis than those with the normal form. When the mice with defective Dectin-1 and ulcerative colitis were given fluconazole, a drug commonly used to kill fungus, their symptoms moderated.

Underhill's team then looked at the Dectin-1 gene in humans. They found that the mutated form of the gene for Dectin-1 was much more common in patients with what is known as medically refractory ulcerative colitis -- that is, ulcerative colitis that does not respond to medical therapy, such as systemic corticosteroids, cyclosporine and biological therapies.

Intriguingly, the defective form of the gene, known as CLEC7A, has not been linked to ulcerative colitis in any genome-wide association studies.

The researchers' conclusion is not that the defective gene allows fungi to produce inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis. Rather, they suggest that the presence of the defective gene makes the disease much more severe when it is caused by other things, but that treating the fungi might be of some help in treating the disease.

"Overall, the idea that fungi are present in the gut and that they interact strongly with the immune system will fundamentally alter how we think about the gut microflora and inflammatory bowel diseases," they concluded.

[Updated June 15: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to inflammatory bowel disease as irritiable bowel disease. The two are separate conditions.]

LATimesScience@gmail.com

twitter.com/@LATMaugh

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times


http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-fungus-irritable-bowel-20120608,0,4122971.story

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Genetic Clues May Help Unravel Cause of Crohn's new
      #368399 - 11/02/12 12:59 PM
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Genetic Clues May Help Unravel Cause of Crohn's

Video Presentation:

http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/11/02/2012/genetic-clues-may-help-unravel-cause-of-crohn-s.html


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Dietary changes may reduce effects of IBD new
      #369646 - 06/27/13 05:43 PM
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Dietary changes may reduce effects of IBD, study finds
Researchers found that eating certain foods, including apples, broccoli and cauliflower, might help stop the immune system from attacking normal intestinal flora, thereby removing the stimulus for inflammation and fibrosis formation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Though diet choices can help alleviate IBD symptoms, doctors may still recommend surgery to remove fibrotic or scarred areas of the intestine in some patients with IBD.

********************

Scientists find that while there is no cure for IBD, certain dietary changes can make it and resulting fibrosis more manageable.
By Anoopa Singh ' Jun 19, 2013 03:21 PM EDT


Four million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks one's colon and intestines and leads to high levels of inflammation and digestive difficulties. Often, as a result of the constant inflammation, the intestines will form fibroids, or masses of cells that try to reinforce the intestinal walls to protect from further immune attack. This fibrosis is driven by the chronic inflammation but does not always work as the body hopes it will. Frequently, fibroids in the intestines can lead to large amounts of scar tissue that prevent the intestines from being as elastic as they once were and can narrow them, making digestion and elimination difficult or impossible.

Fixing these digestive issues caused by IBD often requires surgery. But, what if the fibrosis was reversible?

A new study indicates that the presence alone of the microbes that the immune system wishes to attack will begin the bodily response that sparks fibrosis. Previous studies have shown that when intestinal microbes are sent to the liver by accident, fibrosis will begin there as well. However, once the microbes are sent away from the liver, dangerous fibrosis ceases.

The researchers attempted to kill off all of the gut bacteria with antibiotics, but this can lead to other health issues as well as a worsening of IBD symptoms. They found that some foods have the potential to block the receptors in the body that recognize benign gut bacteria as invaders. This can ease a lot of the inflammation that is characteristic of IBD. In the same way, easing the inflammation can prevent further fibrosis. Some of these foods include broccoli, cauliflower, and apples.

It is clear that there is some promise in altering one's diet to manage IBD. But while the blockage of inflammation will stop fibrosis, the condition can progress if some inflammation still occurs. The researchers hope that fibrosis in other organs can regress the way it does in the intestines, but researchers still believe that in spite of their finding, surgical management of fibroids must be employed in order to ensure the health of those with IBD.


Source: Rieder F. The Gut Microbiome in Intestinal Fibrosis: Environmental Protector or Provocateur?. Science Translational Medicine. 2013.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/16675/20130619/intestinal-bacteria-fibrosis-ibd-inflammatory-bowel-disease-dietary-change-autoimmune-disorder.htm

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Heat Waves Linked to Flares new
      #369994 - 08/16/13 12:58 PM
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Medscape Medical News
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Heat Waves Linked to Flares

Joanna Broder
Aug 13, 2013

During a heat wave, there is more to worry about than just heat stroke: Flares of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and bouts of infectious gastroenteritis (IG) are things to consider as well, according to a study from Zurich, Switzerland, published online August 13 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

"There is evidence for an increase of IBD hospital admissions by 4-6 percent for each additional day within a heat wave period," Christine N. Manser, MD, from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Zurich, and colleagues said in a new release. "Presence of a heat wave was estimated to increase the risk of [IG] by 4-7 percent for every additional day within a heat [wave] period. In the control group there was no evidence for a heat wave effect."

To conduct this retrospective, controlled observational study, researchers used data from 738 patients with IBD and 786 patients with IG who had been admitted to a Swiss hospital during the 5-year period from 2001 to 2005. They then compared this data, using other noninfectious chronic intestinal inflammations as the control. The Swiss Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology provided climate data for 17 heat waves during the same period.

Results from the study showed that for every additional day within a heat wave, the risk for IBD flare ups increased by 4.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6% - 7.4%; P = .0035), and the risk for IG flares increased by 4.7% (95% CI, 1.8% - 7.4%; P = .0020). Members of the control group, in contrast, showed no significant effect (95% CI, −6.2% - 2.9%; P = .53). The analyses were adjusted for day of the week, long-term time trends, and seasonal pattern.

Results also suggest that the risk for IG increased per day and was strongest "when lagged by 7 days" (risk increase per day, 7.2%; 95% CI, 4.6% - 9.7%; P < .0001). The risk for IBD did not require such a transformation: The model fit was not improved by using formulations that had additional adjustments for daily average temperature, the authors note.

"[W]e found a substantial increase in hospital admissions because of flares of IBD and IG during heat wave periods," they write. "Whereas the effect on IG is strongest with a delay of 7 days, the effect on IBD flares is immediate, suggesting different mechanisms."

One of the reasons heat waves might affect IBD flare-ups and IG is because they can cause physical stress, Dr. Manser said in the press release. "Physical as well as mental stress has been shown to cause flares of IBD and may explain the increase in IBD hospital admissions during heat."

The growth of bacteria may be another factor affecting how heat waves affect digestive symptoms, the authors write. "During a heat wave, changes in bacterial composition of food, skin, soil, and water may occur. This has never been investigated in much detail. However, recent research suggests that temperature plays a crucial role for the expansion of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli and other pathogenic bacteria," they write.

"This study ties heat stress to digestive symptoms supporting the observed seasonal variation in the clinical course of [IBD] and suggests that microbial infections of the gut might be additionally influenced by climate changes," Dr. Manser said in the news release.

In conclusion, the authors warn that the public should be aware of an increased risk for flare-ups from IBD and IG during a heat wave. "[M]itigation and adaptation strategies are needed to reduce current vulnerability to climate change and to address the health risks projected to occur over the coming decades," they write.

This study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Am J Gastroenterol. Published online August 13, 2013. Abstract

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809363

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Breathing exercises, meditation improved inflammatory markers, quality of life in IBD patients new
      #370525 - 10/23/13 04:20 PM
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Breathing exercises, meditation improved inflammatory markers, quality of life in IBD patients

October 18, 2013

SAN DIEGO — Patients with mild-to-moderate inflammatory bowel disease who participated in a program of breathing, movement and meditation exercises experienced significant improvement to inflammatory markers and quality of life in a study presented at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting.

Researchers randomized 30 patients with mild-to-moderate IBD to participate in either a breathing, movement and meditation workshop (BBMW) or a control group undergoing a parallel educational seminar (ES). Inflammatory and psychometric markers were assessed via brief symptom inventory (BSI), Beck anxiety inventory (BAI), Beck depression index and IBD questionnaire (IBDQ) at baseline, with changes after 6 weeks as the primary endpoint and after 6 months as the secondary endpoint. Both groups received similar access to health care professionals.

Patients in the BBMW group experienced significant improvements to BSI after 6 weeks compared with the ES group (P=.02 for difference). Similarly, quality of life as measured by the IBDQ (P=.01) was significantly improved in the BBMW group, as were symptoms of anxiety (P=.02). These improvements all persisted after 6 months (P=.04 for BSI score, P=.03 for BSAI and P=.01 for IBDQ), and investigators noted additional improvements to perceived stress (P=.01), perceived disability (P=.001) and depression (P=.01).

At 6 weeks, fecal calprotectin levels had improved significantly in the ES group (P=.04), and numerically in the BBMW group. These changes were not maintained at the 6-month evaluation.

"Many of our young patients with IBD have a decreased quality of life from many symptoms, including diarrhea, bleeding and abdominal pain," researcher Vinita E. Jacob, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, told Healio.com. "… While we have excellent medical therapy, it's important to be broad-minded about other techniques that can be helpful in decreasing the inflammatory state in these particular patients. There are so many young patients who do not want to be on lifelong medication therapy; there is a role for stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system in these patients to help them feel better."

For more information:

Jacob VE. P1064: Impact of Breathing and Education Programs on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Quality of Life (QOL) and Inflammatory Biomarkers. Presented at: The American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting; Oct. 11-16, San Diego.

http://www.healio.com/gastroenterology/inflammatory-bowel-disease/news/online/%7B65ae4fe2-c79a-4a82-9e7f-4e62c9d0b6bc%7D/breathing-exercises-meditation-improved-inflammatory-markers-quality-of-life-in-ibd-patients


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Stool test distinguishes between IBD and IBS new
      #371087 - 04/07/14 01:40 PM
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Stool emissions test distinguished between IBD, IBS

Shepherd SF. J. Breath Res. 2014;doi:10.1088/1752-7155/8/2/026001.

April 1, 2014

Analysis of volatile organic compounds emitted from stool samples distinguished patients with either inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, according to new data from researchers in the UK.

Investigators coupled a gas chromatograph to a metal oxide sensor with pattern recognition software. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs), acting as a proxy for conditions in the gastrointestinal tract, produced a unique profile for each bowel disease with 76% overall accuracy.

The system required 40 minutes to obtain a chromatogram which then was assessed "in seconds" by artificial neural network software, according to researchers.

Stool samples were collected from 182 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) between October 2010 and October 2011. After being frozen, the samples were compared to control samples from healthy patients. The system was able to distinguish IBD from controls with 79% mean accuracy. But the method was less sensitive when distinguishing IBS from controls (mean accuracy, 54%). Sensitivity and specificity in differentiating IBS from IBD samples were 76% and 88%, respectively.

"Our work has demonstrated that a low-cost device based on VOC analysis could be used to potentially diagnose, and differentiate, IBS and IBD at the point of care," researcher Sophie F. Shepherd,BSc, Institute of Bio-sensing Technology, University of the West of England, said in a press release.

http://www.healio.com/gastroenterology/inflammatory-bowel-disease/news/online/%7B3331848c-73ad-4ab8-bbfc-ca6a876c2fee%7D/stool-emissions-test-distinguished-between-ibd-ibs

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