Rheumatoid arthritis often follows ulcerative colitis – evidence review

ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, inflammation, arthritis digest Ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis are both autoimmune diseases defined by chronic inflammation. Ulcerative colitis is a colon disease and rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by joint swelling and tenderness.

Scientists were interested in the link between the two diseases and whether ulcerative colitis affects the progress of arthritis. They looked at the available evidence and narrowed the relevant research to 50 studies. Key findings include:

  • Arthritis is the most common complication of ulcerative colitis;
  • Common genes and antigens are found in both diseases;
  • Some drugs can be used to treat both disorders;
  • Many studies show that a large number of people with ulcerative colitis developed rheumatoid arthritis within a few years.

“All the findings prove that there is a relation between ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis,” the scientists explain. “This study is useful for doctors, scientists, and patients.”

Click here to read the original research.

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