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Patients with allergies appear to have a higher incidence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
      02/04/08 10:19 AM
HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
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Atopy Implicated in Subgroup of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jan 23 - Patients with allergies appear to have a higher incidence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) than do those without allergies, suggesting that the conditions may be linked in some patients, Chicago-based researchers report.

Lead investigator Dr. Mary C. Tobin told Reuters Health that "the real hope of this study is that patients and physicians recognize the association between allergies and IBS."

To investigate a possible connection, Dr. Tobin and colleagues at Rush University Medical Center surveyed 125 consecutive patients: 39 were attending an allergy and immunology clinic, 36 were attending a gastroenterology clinic and the remaining 50 were attending a general medicine clinic.

The prevalence of IBS in patients attending the allergy clinic was 44%, similar to that of patients at the gastroenterology clinic (39%) and significantly greater than the 20% prevalence seen in general clinic attendees, the investigators report in the January issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Overall, patients reporting atopic conditions including allergic rhinitis, allergic eczema and asthma were 3.20 times more likely than other patients to fulfill criteria for IBS.

Given these findings, the researchers suggest that patients who have typical IBS symptoms plus manifestations of atopy should be considered as a separate subgroup with atopic IBS.

Dr. Tobin added that "identifying the allergic triggers, both inhaled and ingested, as well as appropriate treatment of the allergies can markedly improve the patient's quality of life by controlling the symptoms."

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2008;100:49-53.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/569115

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