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News

Atopy and functional gastrointestinal disorders overlap

Irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia and constipation share an association with atopy, reports August's issue of the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

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Activation of the immune system has been demonstrated in atopy and functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.

Previous data from our group have suggested a connection between immune dysregulation, functional gastrointestinal disorders and mood disorders.

Dr Mike Jones' and colleagues from Australia investigated if these data translate to clinical practice.

The team examined connections from the perspective of functional gastrointestinal disorders to determine whether atopy and functional gastrointestinal disorders are connected via mood disorders.

Evidence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia and constipation was sought from the medical records of 30,000 primary care records over a minimum 5 year period.

The same records yielded diagnoses of 4 atopic conditions (asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis/hay fever and conjunctivitis).

Evidence was sought from the medical records of 30,000 primary care records
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

The team found atopic conditions in excess among all functional gastrointestinal disorder groups considered when compared with controls.

In the groups with IBS alone, functional dyspepsia alone, and those with multiple functional gastrointestinal disorders there was elevated prevalence of asthma compared with controls without a functional gastrointestinal disorder.

The researchers noted across disorders the excess was generally highest among patients diagnosed with multiple functional gastrointestinal disorders.

This was only partly explained by a common association between both functional gastrointestinal disorders and atopic conditions with mood disorders, although not for every atopic/functional gastrointestinal disorder combination.

Dr Jones' team commented, "Irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia and constipation share an association with atopy that is only partly explained via a common connection with mood disorders."

"These data have important implications for understanding both the pathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders and development of new treatments."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014: 40(4): 382–391
24 July 2014

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