Enteropathic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can affect the spine and peripheral joints. The arthritis is associated with inflammation in the gut. About 10-20% of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will develop enteropathic arthritis. The two most commonly known inflammatory bowel disease types are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms of enteropathic arthritis:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- Pain and swelling in joints, particularly in the lower limbs
- Stiffness and pain in the spine
Diagnosis of enteropathic arthritis
A rheumatologist is best placed to diagnose enteropathic arthritis. A physical examination, individual and family medical history, blood tests and X-rays can all help in the diagnosis. Tests, such as stool samples for occult blood, may be done for IBD. If IBD associated arthritis is suspected a gastroenterology consult and colonoscopy would be helpful.