The Scary Link Between Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and CIDP
Irritable bowel diseases (IBD) don’t just co-occur with CIDP, there seems to be a possibility that IBD may be causing it.
By Shiraz Abbas
An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe chronic inflammation that affect people’s digestive tracts. The two most common forms of IBDs are ulcerative colitis (inflammation in the lining of the large intestine) and Crohn’s disease (inflammation in the lining of the small intestine).
These diseases usually include internal bleeding (which shows up in the stool), diarrhea, abdominal pain and fatigue.
The American Academy of Neurology mentioned a study where researchers found that
those with inflammatory bowel disease were about four times more likely to develop neuromuscular conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome and small fiber neuropathy, which causes pain and lack of feeling in the feet. Those with bowel disease were also more than six times more likely to also have a disorder called sensorimotor polyneuropathy, a nerve disease that can cause weakness, pain, and numbness. These diseases were more common in women with bowel disease than men.
Research is suggesting that small fiber neuropathy is not the only possible effect of irritable bowel disease. It seems that IBD can also possibly lead to CIDP type neuropathy and there is a strong link between IBS and CIDP where it is possible that a bowel disease can be lead to CIDP.
A 2005 study concludes that
despite the fact that our study is retrospective and not designed to establish causality between IBD and PN, it is likely that there is a primary immune-mediated neuropathy as an extra-intestinal disorder associated with IBD and not merely a co-occurrence with CIDP. Overall, men with IBD may be more susceptible to the development of PN than women. However, women may be more prone to demyelinating neuropathies.
If you suffer from CIDP, speak to your neurologist and see if you should see a GI doctor to have your stool checked. It is possible that by treating your IBD, you can help your CIDP symptoms.
Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.