Extraintestinal Symptoms and Illnesses

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Extraintestinal refers primarily to symptoms or illnesses that a person experiences in parts of their bodies that are outside of the intestines, but these symptoms stem from, or are associated with, a problem within the intestines. Extraintestinal may refer to symptoms such as brain fog or illnesses such as the dermatitis of celiac disease.

As you will see, extraintestinal symptoms are associated with many of the major bowel diseases and disorders.

Extraintestinal symptoms may also be known as non-colonic symptoms.

In addition to the use of extraintestinal to describe symptoms, bacterial illnesses that manifest in organs other than the intestines may be characterized as extraintestinal.

Extraintestinal Symptoms Associated with Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the villi of the small intestine are damaged when a person eats foods containing the protein gluten. This damage results in poor absorption of nutrients and can cause a wide variety of extraintestinal symptoms and illnesses, including:

Extraintestinal Symptoms Associated with Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is a health condition in which a person experiences symptoms when they eat foods that contain gluten.

These symptoms then disappear when a person goes on a gluten-free diet. The following extraintestinal symptoms have been associated with gluten sensitivity:

  • Brain fog
  • Dermatitis
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle pain

Extraintestinal Symptoms Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Extraintestinal symptoms are rampant in the inflammatory bowel diseases(IBD) of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

People who have IBD may experience extraintestinal symptoms throughout their bodies, including in their eyes, bones, joints, and skin. IBD can also affect many body organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and pancreas, all of which can cause a wide variety of extraintestinal symptoms.

Click here to read more about the extraintestinal symptoms and illnesses of IBD...

Extraintestinal Symptoms Associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is a disorder in which people experience chronic abdominal pain and problems with their bowel movements. In addition to these intestinal problems, some people who have IBS also report the following extraintestinal symptoms:

Click here to read more about IBS and extraintestinal symptoms...

Extraintestinal Illnesses

The following are some examples of extraintestinal illnesses. These are illnesses in which bacteria normally found in the colon cause disease in other organs of the body.

  • Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli
  • Extraintestinal entamoeba histolytica amebiasis
  • Extraintestinal microsporidiosis

Sources:

Catassi, C. "Gluten Sensitivity." Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 2015 Suppl 2:16-26.

Evans, P. & Pardi, D. "Extraintestinal Manifestations of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Focus on the Musculoskeletal, Dermatologic, and Ocular Manifestations" MedGenMed 2007 9:55.

Fasano, A. "Gluten Freedom" Nashville:Wiley 2014 Print.

Hernandez, L. & Green, P. "Extraintestinal manifestations of celiac disease." Current Gastroenterology Reports 2006 8:383-389.

Palsson, O. & Whitehead, W. "Beyond the Bowel: The Meaning of Co-Existing Medical Problems UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders Accessed February 26, 2016.

Vavricka, S., et. al. "Extraintestinal Manifestations of Inflammatory Bowel Disease" Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 2015 21:1982–1992.

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