Fatigue and FGIDs

Almost 2/3 of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who initiate biologic therapy (infliximab, adalimumab, vedolizumab, or ustekinumab) continue to experience persistent fatigue up to 1 year later. 

Ongoing inflammation was thought to be the main cause of IBD related fatigue, however research now suggests that gut dysbiosis and a less diverse microbiome may be the prevailing factor. 

According to the lead study author, Nynke Z. Borren, MD, “We think that gut dysbiosis might be involved in inducing fatigue,” Dr. Borren said. “In the beginning, we thought that it might be due to ongoing inflammation, but our research has shown that we find a less diverse gut microbiome in those patients with fatigue compared to patients without fatigue while they were in remission. There is something in the gut that influences the central nervous system. We are still exploring this.”

Acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness in the regulation of gut dysbiosis, intestinal barrier function, visceral hypersensitivity, gut motor dysfunction, depression/anxiety, and pain, and low vagal tone, all of which are factors that can significantly impact quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Persistent fatigue plagues many IBD patients

“Fatigue is one of the most heard complaints in the clinic,” lead study author Nynke Z. Borren, MD, said in an interview at the annual Digestive Disease Week. ® “In the past few years there has been more interest because we know there is a communication system between the gut and the brain.

Acupuncture in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. – PubMed – NCBI

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Jun 18;25(7):1129-1139. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izy371.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark