-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Crohn's disease may cause
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study contends.
The study included nearly 600 Swiss adults with Crohn's disease,
an incurable inflammatory bowel disorder that causes severe pain
The study participants underwent PTSD assessment at the start of
the study and 19 percent of them were found to have the disorder.
All the participants were monitored for 18 months. The researchers
found that Crohn's patients with PTSD were more than 13 times
likelier to experience worsening symptoms than those without
The study appears Dec. 2 in the online edition of
Crohn's can't be cured but PTSD can, and doctors treating
Crohn's patients need to be alert for PTSD and refer patients for
appropriate therapy, said the researchers, led by Roland von
Kaenel, a professor with Bern University Hospital, in
PTSD is typically triggered by violence, natural disasters and
emergency situations. But a growing body of research shows that
serious illness, along with diagnostic and treatment procedures,
may trigger the psychological condition.
Over a long period of time, PTSD can permanently change the
body's hormonal and immune responses, making a person more prone to
serious health problems, the researchers said.
"In most cases, patients avoid talking about cures which remind them of having the disease," the researchers wrote in a news release from the journal's publisher. "Such behavior may unwillingly be encouraged by the usual shortness of consultation time and unfamiliarity of [gut specialists] in dealing with the psychological needs of their patients."
The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America has more about
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