Gastrointestinal problems such as IBS & Colitis have a relationship with other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis & fibromyalgia and also skin conditions like psoriasis & eczema.
Why? How are they all related? What do they all have in common? They are all inflammatory conditions. Some of them are byproducts of the GI problem and some have other causes such as being genetic and are simply aggravated by the GI inflammation.
It works like this. Every nerve in the body travels through the GI tract. If you have a condition like Leaky Gut Syndrome of colitis what you essentially have is a hole in the stomach or bowel wall.
Embedded within this wall tissue that is made of skin – fat & muscle are blood vessels & nerves. When this tissue is ulcerated (a hole eaten through it) the stomach acids and food particles penetrate and either or both–you spring at leak in a blood vessel which is then called a perforated stomach ulcer or in the bowel it is called ulcerated colitis.
Or the acids start to gnaw away at the nerve sheath. This causes localized pain in the gut—–but it also causes whatever nerve that is passing through that area to ‘heat up’ send pain signals to wherever that nerve is connected. This causes pain—-such as a headache or bone-joint pain which is called arthritis or muscles & other soft tissue which is called fibromyalgia.
These conditions can definitely be caused by an inflammatory GI condition and in many cases have no other cause.
As for skin conditions. These are a little different. They are usually genetic in nature. Meaning one would have the potential to have the inflamed skin issues under any circumstances. The role of the GI issues is that the ‘heating up’ I referred to means that inflammatory signals are sent out via little hormones. They then trigger more of the genetic tendency for inflamed skin. So—the GI issues don’t cause the issues—they aggravate them.
Ok—so what’s the point? The point is that in many cases when the GI issues are healed the other issues either clear up or are greatly improved.
If you have ‘arthritis’-chronic headaches – skin issues or any other inflammatory condition (btw—science is now stating the source of many conditions-like possibly diabetes & atherosclerosis are caused by inflammation) stop treating it only with a prescription or herbal medication—–but—if you are having GI problems—treat that & see what happens.
Short story. I treated a patient who had been diagnosed with what was thought to be severe osteoarthritis that had essentially frozen the joints in his hands. I was actually treating him for crohn’s disease. He was a well know concert pianist for a major city’s philharmonic orchestra. He told me he was unable to play anymore and was going to retire. He was heartbroken.
I told him that if successfully treated for the crohn’s he may find that the arthritis was caused by the crohn’s and that he may play the piano again someday. He told his father what I had said. He- who was a doctor & who was a total hard ass blasted me for giving his son false hope.
I treated the son for the crohn’s, it was going very well & then he stopped coming to my office & I lost track of him.
5-6 years later I had a chance meeting with him. He walked straight across the room–squeezed the hell out my hand–intensely looked me in the eye & all he said was—-‘thanks.’