The study shows that depression affects IBD patients and their siblings

Living with a chronic condition such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis – both forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – affects every aspect of a person’s life. These diseases not only affect physical health but also affect mental and emotional health.

Research shows that mental health struggles among those living with IBD are common. People with IBD are 2 to 3 times more likely to have depression and anxiety than the general population, reports the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

It’s easy to see how IBD symptoms, including severe diarrhea, chronic pain, fatigue, and loss of appetite, can lead to social isolation and feelings of depression. But recent research suggests the relationship between the two conditions may be a little more complex than that.

A new study, published in April 2022 in Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found a two-way link between IBD and depression (meaning people with one condition were more likely to develop the other). Furthermore, this link extended to the siblings of people with both conditions, also suggesting a genetic component for the connection between these diseases.

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