For most children diagnosed with asthma, the condition is relatively mild and easily controlled. However, compromised digestion may exacerbate bronchopulmonary symptoms. In a recent study, researchers from Kirikale University, Turkey, estimated the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in young patients with stable asthma (Ekici, Guliter, Ekici, Kalpaklioglu, Kara, Keles, Tunckol, Akin & Kocyigit, 2005). Irritable bowel syndrome compromises a group of functional bowel disorders in which abdominal discomfort or pain is associated with defecation or a change in bowel habit, and with features of disordered defecation. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder, accounting for up to 15 to 20 percent of the general population and 50 percent of cases seen by gastroenterologists. Health related quality of life in patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome is considered poor. This aside, symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome are associated with brochopulmonary disease and hypersensitivity of the airways. Of the 65 young asthmatic patients enrolled in the foregoing study, the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome was significant, with 27.5 percent of patients receiving a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Moreover, the prevalence of irritable syndrome was higher in females than in males (25.4 percent compared to 9.8 percent). It was also found that patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome experienced more episodes of emotional and mental dysfunction.
Ekici, A., Guliter, S., Ekici, M., Kalpaklioglu, F., Kara, T., Keles, H., Tunckol, M., Akin, A. & Kocyigit, P. 2005. Irritable bowel syndrome in young and elderly patients with stable asthma. Digestive and Liver Disease, 37, 773-778.