Much buzz has been going around about the connection of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome to a variety of other common ailments, including EDS and Stomach Pain. So many of us suffer from what has been diagnosed as IBS, reflux, Gastroparesis and a variety of other GI issues that go from our mouths down to our rectum. Yes, the GI tract is that long and any issues we may face are not in only in our stomachs.  

The link seems to stem from the fact that connective tissue is all over our bodies. It’s in our skin, our eyes, surrounding all of our organs, supports our joints, our blood even has some collagen components (collagen is the material that connective tissue is made from) and is virtually found to have something to do with every part of our bodies, as well as each organ system. Needless to say the GI tract is a really long one.  One stat I’ve heard is that if you stretch out the surface area of the GI tract, it would cover a football field.  That’s huge!  And a lot of area for issues to arise.

When you have EDS or hypermobility syndrome (AKA – being “double-jointed”), what you may experience in your life span is often far more involved than appearing uber-flexible (being uber flexible is usually hypermobility misunderstood) and is very much a mult-systemic condition.

The good news is that we are finally beginning to understand all that can go into having EDS & even though many of us in the EDS community, as well as the physicians who treat us have long known that EDS can affect so many other parts of our bodies, it’s great to finally see that research is being done to prove the connection between EDS and the other issues that so many of us deal with, including conditions of the gastrointestinal tract as described in the article below.

“Scientists from Queen Mary University of London are carrying out groundbreaking research which, for the first time, investigates the link between hypermobility (double-jointedness) and gut disorders.

They want to know why hypermobile (double-jointed) patients with flexible joints and stretchy skin are more likely to have digestive problems and stomach pain.

The study focuses on connective tissue which is found throughout the body and acts as scaffolding, supporting and binding all the other organs and tissues.

The researchers have observed that:

connective tissue may form “the missing link” between hypermobility and gut disorders;
patients with joint hypermobility, who have a genetic defect in the connective tissue, may also be likely to have abnormal connective tissue in their gut.
This was the first study to investigate the association between the two conditions. It was funded by the charity Bowel & Cancer Research.”

Reference: Medical News Today