Weekly health news roundup from Feb. 7 to Feb. 13: ALS, Celiac disease, osteoporosis, ulcerative colitis, and IBS

If you haven’t been checking on what’s happening in the health world lately, here’s our weekly health news roundup on ALS, Celiac disease, osteoporosis, IBS, and ulcerative colitis. While researchers continue to look for optimal treatment plans, effective screening practices, and targeted preventative measures, many studies uncover unexpected links between different conditions that weren’t previously thought about as being interdependent. These findings help inform further medical developments to account for these surprise factors.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pain, an underestimated and neglected symptom

Woman Rubbing Her HandsAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pain is often an underestimated and neglected symptom. ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder, which is characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons, muscle wasting, and respiratory dysfunction. Secondary symptoms, such as pain, can arise, causing additional difficulty in a patient’s life and further limiting one’s abilities.


Treatment for pain associated with ALS can be complicated, as each person may react differently to different treatment options. Often treatment is combined with different approaches to get the best well-rounded form of treatment for the patient. This combination may target nutrition, respiratory factors, psychology, and motor function, to name a few. Continue reading…

GERD and Barrett’s esophagus patients have obstructive sleep apnea, poor sleep quality

GERD-and-Barett-esophagus-patientsGastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and Barrett’s esophagus (BE) patients have higher rates of obstructive sleep apnea and poor sleep quality. Nearly 20 percent of Americans suffer from GERD, which is chronic heartburn or acid regurgitation. Numerous previous studies have explored the association between GERD and poor sleep quality and have found that GERD patients, on average, have worse sleep, including insomnia, sleep disruptions, and overall low quality of sleep.

To uncover the association between GERD, BE, and poor sleep, researchers conducted a case-controlled study with an ongoing cross-sectional study of BE risk factors. Eligible patients, who were scheduled for an elective upper endoscopy, were recruited. Patients eligible for a colonoscopy underwent an endoscopy along with a colonoscopy, too. Researchers also collected self-reported data with regards to GERD symptoms, sleep quality, and risk of sleep apnea along with the endoscopy findings. Continue reading…

Celiac disease increases osteoporosis and bone fracture risk

celiac-disease-osteoporosis-and-bone-fracture-riskCeliac disease increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. The findings were presented at the EULAR 2011 Annual Congress, where researchers announced that celiac disease patients have a 4.5 times greater risk of developing osteoporosis, compared to healthy individuals of the same age and gender.

Celiac disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks gluten, a common ingredient in wheat products, leading to symptoms like abdominal pain, constipation, and overall discomfort. The villi, which line the intestines and are necessary to absorb nutrients from the food that is being digested, become damaged when celiac attacks occur. When villi are damaged, the body cannot absorb essential nutrients, more specifically, those essential nutrients that the bones require to stay strong, thus contributing to weak bones and increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Continue reading…

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation

hypothyroidism-underactive-thyroid--irritable-bowerl-syndromeHypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid does not produce enough hormones in order for the cells in the body to operate properly. Although there is not a direct relationship between hypothyroidism and IBS, many patients find they have complications with both conditions simultaneously.

Hypothyroidism can affect many parts of the body, including the digestive system. Because of this, hypothyroidism can contribute to constipation and bloating. Diarrhea can also be affected by hypothyroidism, but it happens as a result of small intestine bacteria overgrowth. Furthermore, individuals with Hashimoto’s disease (one of the common causes of hypothyroidism) are at a higher risk for celiac disease.

In order to better manage IBS with hypothyroidism, it is important to keep on top of your condition and adhere closely to the treatments that your doctor has set out for you. This can help ensure your IBS symptoms do not worsen due to hypothyroidism. Continue reading…

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis associated with liver disease


inflammatory-bowel-disease-ulcerative-colitis-associated-liver-diseaseInflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis are associated with liver disease. Liver disease can be quite common in IBD, as researchers believe they share many of the same pathogens.
Anything we consume passes through the liver, in a process somewhat similar to that of a processing plant. The liver helps the body break down things we ingest and removes waste. In IBD patients, the liver can become inflamed as well, and serious liver disease affects up to five percent of IBD patients.

Symptoms of an inflamed liver include fatigue and low energy, feeling full or feeling pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, itching, jaundice, easy bruising, and fluid retention. Some patients, however, may not experience any symptoms, allowing for further damage to occur to the liver.

There are many liver complications associated with IBD and ulcerative colitis Continue reading…