Ibd Follows Neuropathic Pain or Neuralgia (Abnormal Sensations)
There are more immune cells in the gut than anywhere else in the body. Indeed, the system's occasional failures – as in the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's – are mostly a result of excessive zeal. Our forebears' earthier existence introduced them early in life to hordes of harmless microbes. When these enter the gut, the immune system learns to tolerate them. But too much clean living denies the system its chance of acquiring self-control. This "hygiene hypothesis" could account for the increase in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The term inflammatory bowel disease describes a group of chronic diseases that cause inflammation or ulceration of the small and large intestines. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can involve either or both the small and large bowel. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are the best known forms of IBD, and both fall into the category of "idiopathic" inflammatory bowel disease because the etiology for them is unknown. In patients with ulcerative colitis, the inflammatory process spreads proximally from the rectum and may involve the entire colon.
Many microbial pathogens, particularly Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, paramyxoviruses, and Listeria monocytogenes have been implicated in the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In addition, enteric pathogens such as Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia, and Escherichia coli have also been associated with relapses of IBD. In still others, the movement alternates between too fast and too slow causing both diarrhea and constipation. When there is an infection or damage, or when the intestines become too full from gassy food, the nerve cells are activated and it is felt as pain.
Patients with known inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can develop exacerbations and de novo IBD can arise in patients with no previous history of symptoms. GPs should be aware that any patient with colicky abdominal pain, swelling, and frequent diarrhea needs careful assessment and review. Colorectal polyps, diverticula, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are cancerous conditions of the bowel that require surgical treatment.
Scientists believe IBD results from the host immune system damaging the tissues of the gut while erroneously attacking food and gut microorganisms that aid food digestion. There are an estimated 500 different species of microbes living in the gut, so sorting out which species are being attacked by the immune system has been an imposing challenge. Ulcerative colitis (UC) involves the colon as a diffuse mucosal disease with distal predominance. The rectum is virtually always involved, and additional portions of colon may be involved extending proximally from the rectum in a continuous pattern.
People with inflammatory bowel disease may also be at risk for developing nerve damage and other neurological problems, according to research to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston. For the study, researchers compared 103 people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis to 51 people with other digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis and chronic heartburn.
Damage to nerves can be caused by physical injury, swelling (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome), autoimmune diseases (e.g. Guillain-Barré syndrome), infection (neuritis), diabetes, or failure of the blood vessels surrounding the nerve. Pinched nerves occur when pressure is placed on a nerve, usually from swelling due to an injury or pregnancy. Nerve damage or pinched nerves are usually accompanied by pain, numbness, weakness, or paralysis. Patients may feel these symptoms in areas far from the actual site of damage, a phenomenon called referred pain. Referred pain occurs because when a nerve is damaged, signalling is defective from all parts of the area which the nerve receives input, not just the site of the damage.
The term gets its origin from ‘neuro’ which means nerves in Greek, and ‘pathy’, which means abnormality. In general, pain experts classify the physical causes of pain into two types, the nociceptive and the neuropathic pain or neuralgia. The nociceptive pain is time limited and results from sprains, bone fractures, burns, bumps, bruises and inflammation. On the other hand, the neuropathic pain is chronic and occurs in reference with the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system.
The 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.
"Inflammatory bowel disease patients commonly suffer from several other medical conditions, like B12 deficiency and glucose intolerance. These nerve conditions we have reported are often not diagnosed by their primary care physicians," said lead study author Francisco De Assis Gondim, MD, MSc, PhD, Professor of the Federal University of Ceará in Ceará, Brazil, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "People with inflammatory bowel disease who develop new symptoms, such as pain or numbness in the feet, should see a doctor."
When neurologists think of neuropathic pain, we are referring to pain being caused by the peripheral nerve fibers themselves. Descriptions of pain or neuralgia pain by patients typically include words such as burning, shooting, stabbing, or electric like and not aching or crushing. The distribution of pain will be along the course of a particular peripheral nerve or a group of nerves of similar length. Pain arising as a direct consequence of a lesion or disease of the somatosensory system.
The four major forms of nerve damage are polyneuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, mononeuropathy, and mononeuritis multiplex. The most common form is peripheral polyneuropathy, which mainly affects the feet and legs. Often the form of neuropathy is further broken down as to cause, or other type, such as small fiber peripheral neuropathy, which is idiopathic. At the highest level, pain or neuralgia is a result of damage to either the central nervous system (meaning the spinal cord and brain) or peripheral nerves (the actual nerve fibers which run throughout the body). In addition, the pain can be in response to a stimulus (such as touch or temperature) or arise on its own (spontaneous pain).
Symptoms of neuropathic pain or neuralgia:
- Pins and needles, pricking or tingling
- Abnormally sensitive skin, itch, tight/stretch/squeezing sensations
- Pain jumps, Shock-like, shoots, stabs
- Pain is burning, cold or numb
Neuropathy often results in numbness, abnormal sensations called dysesthesias and allodynias that occur either spontaneously or in reaction to external stimuli, and a characteristic form of pain, called neuropathic pain or neuralgia that is qualitatively different from the ordinary nociceptive pain one might experience from stubbing a toe or hitting a finger with a hammer. Pain, most often pain or neuralgia - meaning due to nerve damage - is a common, serious, and difficult to treat.
A study at Imperial College London, United Kingdom shown that increased TRPV1 (The capsaicin receptor TRPV1 may play an important role in visceral pain and hypersensitivity states) nerve fibres are observed in IBS, together with a low-grade inflammatory response. The increased TRPV1 nerve fibres may contribute to visceral hypersensitivity and pain in IBS, and provide a novel therapeutic target.
According to the American Cancer Society in a larger study; data collected on 226,000 Americans during the National Health Interview Study found that the 6 percent with confirmed diabetes were 1.4 times as likely to develop colon cancer as non-diabetics. Anyone with a family history of colon cancer or inflammatory-bowel disease should be screened earlier and more often; they suggested. Most studies on neuropathic pain have involved diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia, because these conditions represent the majority of patients with pain or neuralgia where patients experiencing both burning and shooting pain.