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Monday, August 16, 2010

Enteropathic Arthritis

Enteropathic Arthritis is classified as one of the spondylarthropathies and includes several conditions related to the Gastrointestinal tract such as:

- Bacterial infections like Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia species and Clostridium difficile.
- Parasitic infections like Strongyloides stercoralis, Giardia lamblia, Ascaris lumbricoides and Cryptosporidium species.
- Spondyloarthropathies like Inflammatory Bowel Syndrom/Disease (IBS or IBD), Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, Whipple disease and collagenous colitis.

Wading through the medical jargon, I came to the understanding that the arthritis symptoms are caused by bacteria or viruses nestling in the tissues of the skeleton; mainly in the lower extremities such as spine, pelvis, ankles and knees. It causes back pain and/or stiffness in one or more joints. The digestive ailments can occur before, or even after the Arthritis manifests itself.

Enteropathic Arthritis is diagnosed by testing the blood for anemia, elevated CRP (C-reactive protein) and ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) indicative of inflammation and by taking sacroliliac and spine x-rays and x-rays of peripheral joints in search of lack of erosive changes.

Enteropathic arthritis means pretty much having to treat both Arthritis as well as inflammatory bowel disease. Most Arthritis medication will aggravate the latter, but drugs like Remicade (infliximab), Humira (adalimumab), and Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) have been proven to treat inflammatory bowel disease as effective as arthritis.

Even though we hope we will never end up with any disease, let alone two, it can occur. In this case it is good to know though, that you can kill two birds with one stone.

We may not always be aware of it, but God gives blessings in abundance. Where one door closes, He opens another. He hears and answers our prayers, because He is a loving and merciful Father!

Psalm 66:20
Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!


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