Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) undergoing surgery may be more than twice as likely to develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT; blood clot in a deep vein in the thigh or leg) or pulmonary embolism. A study reported in the Archives of Surgery, a journal of JAMA, states that people with IBD have been known to be at greater risk for at least 75 years, but this appears to be the first attempt to examine the issue.
The authors, Andrea Merrill, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and Frederick Millham, M.D., from Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Boston, analyzed data from 268,703 patients who had surgery in one of 211 hospitals associated with the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) in 2008. 2,249 of these patients had IBD.
They found that IBD patients were 2½ times more likely to suffer from either deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary thrombosis after intestinal surgery. (1% of non-IBD patients and 2.5% of IBD patients) A full 5% of non-intestinal surgeries in IBS patients resulted in pulmonary embolisms.
Merrill and Millham concluded:
In conclusion, this study of patients enrolled in the
NSQIP database demonstrates that patients with IBD who
undergo surgery have a 2-fold increased risk of DVT or
PE. In patients with IBD who are having nonintestinal
surgery, this risk may be even higher. These findings suggest that standard DVT and PE prophylaxis should be reconsidered for this patient group.
While better presurgery prevention is certainly a good idea for such patients, the usual lack of investigation into the entire picture was left untouched.
Inflammatory bowel disease was rare a few decades ago. It’s now common. One study done in Texas compared diagnosis rates in children up to age 14 between 1991 and 2002. The rate of diagnosis more than doubled, from 1.1 per 100,000 per year to 2.4 per 100,000 per year. This is not representative of the true numbers, as the most common time of diagnosis is between 15 and 35 years of age.
The cause of a disease that is becoming so common needs to be identified. Sadly, though, that isn’t the focus of conventional medicine. Treatment is, because treatment is income-producing. Prevention is not. IBD patients represent a group of people who can be pushed into constant drug treatment and often surgery.
The ultimate results of these treatments for IBD are nearly always negative. Standard drug treatment utilizes steroids, which can have serious long-term effects, including diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, nerve damage, and adrenal suppression. Surgery, of course, constitutes many risks, dependent on the type. Nowadays, though, the risk of developing a drug-resistant infection is significant and growing. Adding the increased risks of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary thrombosis places IBD sufferers at significant danger of further chronic illness and early death.
It’s not only IBD sufferers at risk. Children and young people are suffering from a host of chronic diseases. The chances are that most children suffer from some sort of chronic disorder. Autism. Diabetes. Asthma. Allergies. Intestinal bowel disorder. Rickets. And others. Instead of trying to find the causes, conventional medicine focuses on treatments—and virtually all of their treatments ultimately make the recipients sicker.
Surely, it’s past time to address this failed paradigm of focusing on treatment of so many chronic diseases that are plaguing children and young adults today. Clearly, there is something wrong in the medical approach to health. Certain changes in how health is managed and in our environment developed shortly before chronic disease became the norm, including:
There are probably others, but the point is clear. Something or some things are behind rampant chronic diseases. This has become the new normal. It’s time to start demanding that disease causes become a primary focus of medicine. The treatment approach has failed, and miserably so. It ultimately makes people sicker and can do nothing to stop these epidemics.
How can anyone possibly take conventional medicine seriously, when what it’s wrought is mass chronic disease that deteriorates into ever worse health as people age and accept their treatments? As is clearly shown in the lack of interest in IBD’s causes, all sense has disappeared from conventional medicine.