OH POOP! PETS INCREASE RISK OF IBS??
GASTROENTEROLOGY NERD ALERT: OH POOP! PETS INCREASE RISK OF IBS??
Check out this fascinating article in Med Page Today that reports on the link between pet ownership and an increased risk of IBS.
“Four-legged furballs may boost the risk for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and exposure to canine and feline feces could be a crucial factor, researchers reported here.”
“In a meta-analysis of five studies, participants who were exposed to a variety of kinds of pets faced an odds ratio 1.26 (95% CI 1.018-1.569) of IBS, according to Laith Al Momani, MD, Ankit Patel, both of East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, and colleagues.
“The odds ratio isn’t huge. But with the prevalence of IBS, this can affect a lot of people,” said Patel, an ETSU medical student, at the annual Digestive Disease Week.
What might be going on? Here’s the scoop, so to speak: Al Momani told MedPage Today that it was possible that pet ownership boosts the risk of IBS through exposure to pet feces, which may disrupt the gut microbiome in a similar way to fecal transplants.
Pet dander may also play a role, Patel said, although he acknowledged that this theory conflicts with the idea that early exposure to allergens is helpful.
He also noted that patients with IBS have higher levels of anxiety and depression, which may spur them to seek comfort via pet ownership.
Patel stressed that the findings aren’t conclusive and that “This study was done to start a conversation,” he said.
That’s good news for Al Momani’s feline companion: “The cat is safe — for now,” he said.”
Whether your IBS is related to your pet or not, the team at Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Health can help! Our providers are well versed in all of the latest treatment options for IBS (and other functional GI conditions) including nutritional interventions, optimizing the mind-connection with gut directed hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, and utilizing the huge variety of potentially beneficial supplements and medications. One size does not fit all – you need to have an individualized treatment plan.
We are eager to help IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE and have you THINK LESS ABOUT YOUR GUT. Call 224.407.4400 or visit compgihealth.com to schedule a consultation.