| chronic pain

Pain Isn’t the Only Symptom of IBD

Lack of Sexual Function “is a constant concern”

Most practitioners know that their parents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience pain and decreased quality of life. What they may not be aware of is the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in this patient population. A study published in International Journal of General Medicine illustrated the link between sexual dysfunction and IBD, and how early detection and the involvement of a multidisciplinary team can help. Over half of those diagnosed with IBD are under 35 years of age. Quality of life is affected by intestinal/extraintestinal symptoms, hospitalization and surgeries, medication, malnutrition and breakdown of the body, and the cost of the illness. Rates vary, with up to 94% of men suffering from ED and 97% of women reporting sexual dysfunction. Study authors state that sexual dysfunction “is rarely evaluated during the evolution of the disease, but it is a priority within the concerns of IBD patients.”

The study concludes that “Control of IBD activity does not appear to be sufficient to improve patients’ quality of life. SD in IBD is multifactorial, involving biological and psychosocial factors, and disease-specific factors, such as the duration and activity of the disease, drug use, and surgery. An early investigation of SD in IBD patients through open questions and validated scales will allow a multidisciplinary approach, with the aim of improving the QoL of our patients. Further prospective studies evaluating SD in patients with IBD, as well as studies investigating interventions to improve SD in this population are needed.”


Read the journal article.

Holly Caster