Posted on Oct 27, 2023, 3 p.m.
Researchers have shown that endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) share genetic risk factors, this may help to explain why some patients with one condition may also have the other. Their findings are published in Cell Reports Medicine.
According to Professor Grant Montgomery, Dr. Sally Mortlock, and Dr. Fei Yang, they identified a significant relationship between the risk for endometriosis and common gastrointestinal disorders like gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), IBS, and peptic ulcer disease (PUD).
Researchers from The University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience worked with colleagues at UQ’s School of Public Health on the genetic studies, and they also utilized data from the UK Biobank containing genetic, lifestyle, and health information from over a half million people, such as biomedical information, genetic data, blood samples, as well as heart and brain scans.
“This genetic finding supports the clinical observation of an increased incidence of gastrointestinal disorders in women with endometriosis,” Professor Montgomery said. “We hope that this study will raise more awareness about the overlap of these conditions.”
1 in 7 women are affected by endometriosis, this severe condition is caused by tissue that resembles the uterus lining that grows outside of the uterus. Women with the condition are twice as likely to also have IBS compared to women without endometriosis, and they are also 1.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with GORD.
“Sufferers can find it difficult to distinguish the source of their pain leading to confusion or misdiagnosis and years of delay in treatment during which time the endometriosis can progress to more severe disease,” Professor Montgomery said. “Endometriosis should be considered as a possible cause if a woman presents to her GP with abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms.”
“As our knowledge of risk factors for endometriosis increases, we hope to move closer to understanding how the disease develops and improve treatments and diagnosis,” said Montgomery.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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