Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an inflammatory disease of the gut. It is a chronic condition that does not have a cure. Now, the latest research adds to its impact on women who deliver a child.

As per the latest study, women who have IBD face increased odds of getting mentally ill after their pregnancy. This conclusion is as per research published in the journal Gut that revealed that roughly 22.7% of the pregnant women with IBD experienced a new-onset mental illness as compared with 20.4% of women with post-pregnancy mental issues without IBD.

What is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a collective term for inflammation conditions that impact the digestive tract. Two chief conditions that fall under IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

It causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which commences at the mouth and ends at the anus, covering the intestines and as well as the stomach. In Crohn’s disease, there are inflammation patches that chip in damage to several layers of the gut. In other words, the entire areas in the gastrointestinal tract are not affected by inflammation.

Only patches are effected. Most commonly, these tend to be the small intestine. On the flip side, ulcerative colitis contributes to inflammation in the colon and rectum. It affects continuous areas, which cause inflammation in the inner layers of the colon wall. Therefore, unlike Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis is continuous.

IBD increases the odds of mental illness after pregnancy

Data for this study was taken from 2002 to 2013 in Ontario. The authors contrasted the incidence of new-onset mental illness in 3,721 women with IBD and 798,908 women without the health concern.

They were able to learn that the odds of mental concerns such as post-partum depression and anxiety increased in cases of women who had IBD. The study’s author, Eric Benchimol, MD, Ph.D., added to this.

Benchimol highlighted, “Pregnant women with IBD have an elevated risk of mood-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and substance-related psychiatric disorders.” Therefore, it is clear that IBD poses risk for pregnant women.

In conclusion, it is essential that women with IBD try to treat their inflammation for fending off mental illness. Some of the steps that can be taken to manage inflammation include having food that fight the problem and getting adequate sleep. It is also best to get social support from friends, family, and support groups.