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    IBD Patients Seem to Have Milder Effects from COVID-19

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) seem to suffer milder effects in the disease phase of COVID-19 than other patients, according to two new reports.


    A woman wearing a gas mask. Image: CC BY-ND 2.0--agasvime
    Caption: A woman wearing a gas mask. Image: CC BY-ND 2.0--agasvime

    Celiac.com 04/30/2020 - Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) seem to suffer milder effects in the disease phase of COVID-19 than other patients, according to two new reports. That may be due to their treatment with immunosuppressant drugs, including salicylates. What's going on? Could people with celiac disease share a similar benefit?

    Because many patients with IBD receive immunosuppressive drugs, doctors have wondered whether those patients might be more susceptible to COVID-19, or its effects. On the other hand, immunomodulatory therapies might also suppress the hyperinflammatory cytokine response associated with the most severe presentations of COVID-19.



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    Dr. Lorenzo Norsa and colleagues observed 522 IBD patients in their clinic at the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, Italy, which was the epicenter of Italy’s outbreak, and suffered some of the highest rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the world. All of these patients are on some form of immunosuppressive drug, and more than 60% are being treated only with salicylates.

    During the observation period, the team saw no cases of COVID-19 in this group, and none of the 522 IBD patients were hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, during the same period, 479 patients with no IBD history were hospitalized for severe COVID-19 and respiratory failure.

    Based on the team’s calculations using data from the Wuhan region, however, there should have been 21 cases among their IBD patients. The team advised all of their IBD patients to continue their treatments as directed. 

    The team notes that immunosuppressive drug therapy did not emerge as a risk factor in earlier outbreaks of SARS and MERS coronavirus, and no patients with IBD as the only risk factor contracted serious SARS or MERS-related disease.

    These findings are fascinating. Could immunosuppressant drugs provide some protection against Covid-19? Could IBD itself offer some protection? If the protective effect is real, and due to the drug treatments, then it is unlikely people with celiac disease would get a similar benefit. Still, so many questions arise.

    Confirmation of these findings could provide some useful insight into the nature of the coronavirus, and may offer a useful tool for treating IBD patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. The team is calling for further study of the issue.

    Read more in Gastroenterology and bmj.com

     

    Edited by Scott Adams

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    On March 6th I got very ill; all symptoms of the corona virus, except fever! I went to the ER twice, but was send home for this reason: no fever, so no corona! The third time I went to my own GP, who gave me antibiotics, the mildet sort available. It did no good either. I stayed sick for four weeks and I slowly recovered with now and then a flare up. Because we had no testing material, nobody was tested in my village. No mouthcaps, nothing. So I stayed home. I have celiac,  a lactose intolerance, Rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure, diabetes, psoriasis and I'm 77 years old, so I belonged to the group who would not get help anyway. I take insuline  4 times a day and for the heart failure and the arthritis I take hydroxychloroquine. That's all!  My rheumatologist later told me that I am a lucky person because these tablets seem to help when you get corona. That's why I had no fever!

    I am fine now, only a bit tired and a few times a day a litle cough!

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    1 hour ago, mjjminnaugh77 said:

    I also have celiac disease ,rheumatoid arthritis,,lactose intolerance, psoriasis..I take hydroxychloroquine for arthritis ,had a fever and luckily I was tested negative. Plugging along at 88, stay safe 

    Good to know!  My mom also has RA and is on hydroxychloroquine.  We hope COVID-19 spares her as well.  From what I read, it can be effective.  Unfortunately, they have only been giving it to COVID-19 patients when they are very ill — too late.  

    When were you diagnosed with celiac disease?  Consider participating in the forum.  I bet you have a lot of wisdom to share.  

    Keep plugging along!  ?

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    6 hours ago, Elisabeth Gerritsen said:

    On March 6th I got very ill; all symptoms of the corona virus, except fever! I went to the ER twice, but was send home for this reason: no fever, so no corona! The third time I went to my own GP, who gave me antibiotics, the mildet sort available. It did no good either. I stayed sick for four weeks and I slowly recovered with now and then a flare up. Because we had no testing material, nobody was tested in my village. No mouthcaps, nothing. So I stayed home. I have celiac,  a lactose intolerance, Rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure, diabetes, psoriasis and I'm 77 years old, so I belonged to the group who would not get help anyway. I take insuline  4 times a day and for the heart failure and the arthritis I take hydroxychloroquine. That's all!  My rheumatologist later told me that I am a lucky person because these tablets seem to help when you get corona. That's why I had no fever!

    I am fine now, only a bit tired and a few times a day a litle cough!

    So glad you are doing well now.  My mom, also has RA and is on hydroxychloroquine as well.  We joke that she has an edge on the rest of us (her children are all in their 50’s). 

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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