enteropathic arthritis

What is Enteropathic Arthritis?

Enteropathic Arthritis refers to the Inflammatory Arthritis that can be seen with Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease. It is the most common extra-intestinal finding in these diseases and can occur in up to 20% of patients.

What are the symptoms of Enteropathic Arthritis?

Features of Crohn’s Disease include Abdominal Pain, weight loss and Diarrhea. Ulcerative Colitis is characterized by diarrhea and intestinal blood loss. When there is redness, swelling or warmth in joints associated with the presence of Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease then it is likely due to Enteropathic Arthritis. An insidious onset of low back pain may also be a symptom of Enteropathic Arthritis. Other symptoms such as sausage digits or a type of Eye Inflammation known as Uveitis may also be present.

How is Enteropathic Arthritis diagnosed?

A careful history and physical as well as the confirmed presence of Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease are important. Other labs to assess for possible systemic inflammation and imaging studies may be helpful in finding the characteristic findings of this type of Arthritis.

How is Enteropathic Arthritis treated?

Use of medications known as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) may be helpful but can exacerbate the Bowel Disease. Other types of medications known as Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARD’s) are useful in controlling the Arthritic Symptoms. More Recalcitrant Disease may require the use of medications known as TNF inhibitors which are given through Infusion or Self-Injection.