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Posted by Jeanne on September 17, 2000 at 22:07:53:

In Reply to: Re: JRA and bowel problems posted by Linda on June 05, 2000 at 20:37:32:

: : My 10 year old son has JRA. I have just been given the results of a barium x ray he had done and it seems he has a bowel abnormality and inflammation. I have heard of a link between rhuematoid arthritis and bowel problems, that the bowel disorder can trigger off a bodily reaction that in turn causes the arthritis?? I`m not too clear on this. Is anyone in this position or know anything about the arthritis-bowel disorder connection?
: : If i am thinking correctly this would make sense, he has always had a "funny tummy" since he was a baby, and when he was a toddler the doctor said he had IBS. He has taken various medicines over the years for colicky type pain, and also because he suffers alot from digestive problems too. It took this long for the doctors to finally investigate his symptoms, i`m glad they have but i am so worried incase this is Crohns. What does this mean for a child? I have another week before we go back to the hospital, so any information would be so welcome.
: : thankyou
: : carol
: :I don't know of any official medical evidence of it, but I am 52 and had IBS for about 20 years before I got RA. I always thought it was due to nerves. Stress also makes RA worse, but maybe there is a connection in some other way such as in the way nutrition is assimilated. If you find any literature on this, please post it.

Dear Carol: I have had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis from the age of 8 months old. Due to the numerous medications since 1950- including 16 aspirin per day, steroids and other pain medications, my stomach has developed lactose introlerance, colitis and IBS. I have lost a considerable amount of weight and now weigh less than 50 lbs (same as my age!) I have heard of a link between JRA & bowel problems, but the theory was usually that the medications caused the severe deterioration of the lining of a child's stomach. Stress definitely makes both problems worse, altho which comes first and from where is of course yet to be determined. I would check as far back into you family and extended families medical history. Sometimes there is also a genetic link with IBS. The best way you can him do , is to establish a pleasant eating/meal preparation and encourage, not to force him. It is crucuial that he doesn't lose too much weight. As he gets older, he will experience more medical problems. If you can keep weight on him, use it as insurance to protect his immune system for the future.

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