Preliminary Study shows that Depression Can Cause Crohn’s Disease Flares

A recent study shows that there is a correlation between depression and Crohn’s flare ups.  The study questioned 3,150 Crohn’s patients online.  The online questionnaire asked how they felt that their treatment affected their lives. It also asked how often they felt hopeless, sad, helpless or worthless.  Patients with high depression scores were 50 percent more likely to have a Crohn’s flare up within 12 months when compared to those with low depression scores.  The study did not explain the cause-and-effect relationship between depression and Crohn’s disease flares.

Lead author, Lawrence Gaines explained, “Our study suggests that feeling of sadness and thoughts of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness can affect the risk of disease flares in people with Crohn’s disease.  Lawrence Gaines is an associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  He also added, “For these patients, what they think about themselves may be related to a very real medical outcome.”

This study was presented at a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation news release.  The study results are considered preliminary until they are reviewed and published a peer-reviewed journal.

Reference: 1.  “Depression Tied to Crohn’s Disease Flare-Ups.”  MedicineNet.  HealthDay.  May 3, 2014.  Web 29 May 2014.