Washington, January 31 : Rush University Medical Center scientists say that adults with allergy symptoms are more likely to show a high incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which suggests a link between atopic disorders and IBS.
Dr. Mary C. Tobin and her colleagues studied 125 adults, and found that the likelihood of IBS was significantly higher in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (2.67 times), patients with allergic eczema (3.85 times), and patients with depression (2.56 times).
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a cluster of symptoms, including abdominal pain for 12 weeks within the past year, change in stool consistency or frequency, and relief of abdominal pain with defecation.
Various studies hinted that allergen exposure might lead to IBS symptoms in some patients. However, the frequency of such occurrences had not been studied up to this point.
"The reported presence of allergic dermatitis was highly correlated to the presence of IBS in our population," noted the researchers.
"In atopic disease, allergic dermatitis is the first step of the 'atopic march.' In early childhood, AE (allergic eczema) is frequently associated with gastrointestinal dysfunction and food allergy. A clinical history of AE may be a useful marker for patients with gut hypersensitivity and atopic IBS," the investigators added.
The researchers revealed that Asthma and Irritable Bowel Syndrome was reported by 12 of 41 patients (29 per cent). This finding is similar to the one reported in a previous paper.
The authors of the study propose that "this subgroup of IBS (atopic IBS) be considered separately from patients with IBS without atopic symptoms, because they may have distinct pathophysiologic features and may benefit from specific therapeutic interventions."
The study has been published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American Collegeof Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.