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Enteropathic Arthritis

Enteropathic arthritis (EA) or arthritis associated with IBD is a type of arthritis that can develop in people with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. It usually affects the joints of the lower limbs and the spine but any joint can be affected. It can also cause debilitating body aches similar to a disease called fibromyalgia. The specific symptoms of EA vary from person to person. Not all people who have an inflammatory bowel disease will get EA.

EA belongs to a family of diseases called seronegative spondyloarthropathies that include ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and reactive arthritis.

Some with EA experience a flare of joint pain around the same time that their bowel disease flares. In others the arthritis is not associated with flares of bowel disease.

Enteropathic arthritis typically affects younger people between 15 and 40 years of age, but older people can get it, too. It affects men and women equally. It is more common in people of Jewish descent. Smoking is a known risk factor for IBD and EA.