How to Deal With Bowel Issues in EDS

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by Mary Chapman |

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bowel issues in EDS

People with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) may experience bowel issues such as intestinal dysmobility. Here are ways to help manage these symptoms.

Why does EDS cause bowel issues?

EDS affects the connective tissue, which is present throughout the body, including in the bowel. Connective tissue is important in facilitating the movement needed to expel body waste. Any abnormality in these tissues can, therefore, disrupt such function.

What kinds of issues do patients experience?

A National Human Genome Research Institute review of the medical charts of 51 EDS patients for gastrointestinal findings showed that 72% had some combination of gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Depending on EDS type, problems with bowel function can cause:

How do doctors treat bowel issues?

If you have EDS and are experiencing gastrointestinal issues, your doctor will likely conduct several tests to pinpoint the cause or location of your problems and work out a treatment plan. It’s recommended that each issue related to bowel function be addressed according to current standards.

Because most EDS patients are prescribed numerous medications and may take food supplements, there may be side effects that could exacerbate bowel problems.

Inactivity can also exacerbate some conditions such as constipation. Work with a physiotherapist to learn how you can exercise safely.

Can diet help?

Diet affects the health of the gut microbiome, so it may help to regularly consume nutrient-dense foods. Some researchers recommend a fiber-rich diet adequate in glycine, proline, lysine, and vitamin C. Probiotics such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut may also help.

Also consider avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates, limiting alcohol intake, eliminating artificial sweeteners, and reducing the consumption of saturated fats and cured meat.


Last updated: Aug. 12, 2020


Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.