Celiac Disease More Prevalent in Children with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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kidFor children who suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the pain may not end there. A study of 992 children who suffered with abdominal pain-related disorders included 270 children with IBS, 201 with functional dyspepsia, and 311 with functional abdominal pain. Blood tests were performed on each participant of a study, with 15 positive results for celiac disease. Twelve of the children had IBS, while 2 had functional dyspepsia. 1 of the children had functional abdominal pain. The most disturbing factor about this science news is that the prevalence of celiac is four times higher in children with IBS than in the general population.

Researchers believe that identifying IBS as a high-risk condition that may predict the potential for development of celiac disease may help pediatricians provide better care by making it routine to test for the disease in all children who experience recurrent abdominal pain. According to the screening, only those children with IBS should be considered at risk.

The most important aspect of this finding is to change the approach to looking for celiac disease in children. Currently, screening tests are frequently used at a substantial cost and resulting in a minimal yield. The study was performed by Cristofori et al, with the findings published in the JAMA Network scientific journals. An editorial printed in response to the findings by James E. Squires, M.D., and colleagues from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, suggested that selective screening for children with IBS should be performed, but not on those with other functional gastrointestinal disorders. The problem with this approach is that the lines that distinguish IBS from these other disorders are frequently blurry. In many cases, the pediatrician must evaluate every factor and make a decision based on the individual case.

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