Overview of Scleroderma and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Correlation with Other Diseases
Collagenous Colitis
Crohn's Disease
Ulcerative Colitis
Support for IBD


These symptoms may occur by themselves or along with other diseases such as systemic scleroderma but not in localized scleroderma, such as linear and morphea.

Abstract collageInflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) should not be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is less severe. In particular, collagenous colitis should be suspected in systemic scleroderma patients who develop watery diarrhea.

Systemic scleroderma can also occur in overlap with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

(Also see: Scleroderma Gastrointestinal Involvement, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, and Systemic Sclerosis)

Systematic Review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Complementary and alternative therapies might be effective for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases; however, given the low number of trials and the heterogeneous methodological quality of trials, further in-depth research is necessary. PubMed, J Crohns Colitis, 2015 Jan;9(1):86-106. (Also see Alternative Therapies)

IBD vs. IBS. Unlike IBD, IBS does not cause inflammation, ulcers or other damage to the bowel. Instead, IBS is a much less serious problem called a functional disorder. WebMD.

IBD in Correlation with Other Diseases

Are Celiac Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Related? According to an Italian study, Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel are not related, they are merely two diseases that sometimes cross the same path. 03/24/10. (Also see Celiac Disease)

Prevalence of celiac disease in inflammatory bowel diseases: An IG-IBD multicentre study. Overall we found a lower risk of celiac disease in our cohort of inflammatory bowel disease patients than in the general population; prevalence of celiac disease was higher in patients with ulcerative colitis than in those with Crohn's disease. Casella G. (PubMed) Dig Liver Dis, 2010 Mar;42(3):175-8. (Also see Celiac Disease)

Collagenous Colitis

Collagenous colitis in systemic sclerosis: an overlooked and treatable complication. Collagenous colitis should be suspected as a rare gastrointestinal complication of systemic sclerosis and clinicians should be aware of the possibility in SSc patients developing watery diarrhea. PubMed, J Clin Rheumatol, 2014 Aug;20(5):278-82.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, the general name for diseases that cause swelling in the intestines. Because the symptoms of Crohn's disease are similar to other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, it can be difficult to diagnose. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

The current therapeutic options for Crohn's disease (CD): from medical therapy to intestinal transplantation. CD treatment is mainly medical, leaving endoscopy and surgery for a complex course. PubMed, Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol, 08/14/2017.

Systemic Sclerosis Patients Have Reduced Incidence of Crohn’s Disease, According to Study. The findings led the team to conclude that systemic sclerosis is associated with a reduced incidence of Crohn’s disease, regardless of the patient’s age and sex. Scleroderma News, 09/24/2015.

Objectively measured muscle fatigue in Crohns disease. Subjects with Crohns disease had more muscle fatigue than matched healthy controls and this correlated well with self–reported fatigue. PubMed, Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 2014 Feb;8(2):137-46. (Also see Crohns Disease)

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease, the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the small intestine and colon. It can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders and to another type of IBD called Crohn's disease. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Drugs and surgery are the treatments for ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. The disease comes with straightforward symptoms that are hard to ignore. “The main one is frequent bowel movements or diarrhea, very often associated with bleeding, urgency, cramps, abdominal pain and fatigue. Katie Charles. 03/17/10.

Support for IBD

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. Our Mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

IBD Support Foundation. The IBD Support Foundation focuses on providing comprehensive, patient-centered psychosocial care. IBD Support Foundation.

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