For many years, doctors have been hearing complaints from IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) patients that they are experiencing difficulty in concentration, memory lapses, and clouded thoughts. Studies are now showing that Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis (the most common IBDs) affect the body in ways unproven before – with a diminished cognitive response time, especially when patients are showing active symptoms of the disorder. This new study reports that patients experiencing this diminished cognitive response time are on par with a blood alcohol level of .05, which is just under the legal drinking limit for driving.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases manifest themselves in chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. Symptoms include diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss. There is currently no cure for Crohn’s, but the disease can be managed with proper diet and exercise, medications, and surgeries. Now, with this new information, it’s apparent that Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis need to be treated as a multi-systemic disorder, with particular attention being paid to the mental and cognitive health of the patients. It’s no longer just about your digestive system.

If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, it is important to talk to your doctor about these new discoveries and track what might be happening with your body. Doctors recommend keeping a journal of food, exercise, symptoms, and anything you want to discuss with your healthcare providers. You may be able to determine cause and effect and come up with a comprehensive plan to maintain the disorder. If you have any concerns, the doctors at  Associates in Digestive Health are here to help you.