There is an association between irritable bowel syndrome and depression. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Depression: A Shared Pathogenesis.
Cureus. 2018 Aug 21 ;10(8):e3178. Epub 2018 Aug 21. PMID: 30357038
Tatenda A Mudyanadzo
It is common knowledge that dysfunction of the immune and neuroendocrine systems, in addition to neuroplasticity, is among the pathways that underlie irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and depression. From as early as the 1950s, the association of IBS with psychiatric disease was postulated; however, the exact mechanism remains elusive. There has been considerable research into the association of IBS and depression over the last years; research into the gut-brain axis and alterations in gut microbes have gained momentum to spell out the relationship between depression and IBS. Evidence from these researchers indicate the dysfunction of homeostatic coping mechanisms; corticotropin-releasing factor appears to be at the core of this dysfunction. The multifactorial etiology of both depression and IBS hinders a universal, one-strategy-fits-all treatment approach to patients with comorbid depression and IBS. This review analyzes the pathophysiology that associates these two conditions; it explores the bidirectional communication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, and how these influence the endocrine and immune systems. Review articles, clinical trials and randomized controlled trials that analyzed the association of depression and IBS were identified by searching PubMed, Google Scholar, and articles in PMC databases. Full texts written in English and available via these search engines were selected for the synthesis of this review. Alterations to the gut-brain axis, intestinal microbiota, and the neuro-immune system may be the cornerstone to the association of IBS and depression. This literature review opens alternate therapeutic approaches to comorbid IBS and depression and encourages further research into this topic.