Irritable bowel syndrome linked to low vitamin D

In irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the intestine looks normal, but does not function normally. In this study, doctors reviewed 55 cases of IBS in children and young adults and compared them to 116 healthy children and young adults. Overall, 90 percent of those with IBS were deficient in vitamin D, which doctors defined as less than 75 nanomoles per liter of blood, or 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood. A majority of the healthy participants— 75 percent—also were deficient in vitamin D.

Anxiety, depression, and migraine headache often accompany IBS, and those with IBS and migraine had much lower vitamin D levels compared to healthy participants. Discussing the findings, doctors said children with IBS and low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have decreased bone mass and recommend measuring and supplementing vitamin D levels in those with IBS.

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