Antibiotics May Increase Your Risk of Developing Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers have found that antibiotics use may be associated with an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and its subtypes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
IBD is a term for two conditions (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) that are characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
According to the study, published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, the association between antimicrobial treatment and IBD remained when patients were compared with their siblings.
IBD is becoming more common, particularly in Europe, the US and other parts of the world undergoing rapid economic development, increased sanitation, and more frequent use of antibiotics.
With a growing appreciation for the gut microbiome’s role in maintaining human health, concern has risen that antibiotics may perturb and permanently alter these fragile microbial communities. This could potentially impact the risk of gastrointestinal disease.
In the study, researchers were able to more definitively demonstrate that more frequent use of antibiotics was associated with the development of IBD and its subtypes.
“I think this affirms what many of us have suspected–that antibiotics, which adversely affect gut microbial communities, are a risk factor for IBD,” said study lead author Dr Long Nguyen from the Harvard Medical School in the US.