Intestinal Problems in Preemies

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 8/8/2006 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
This article is on the dangers of under-developed intestines in preemies.  But what is really interesting about it is the fact that they may have a drug that will help develop their intestines--like they have a drug to develop their lungs.  One of the problems with preemies is that their intestines don't function correctly or at all and get inflamed and they swell up and can even get ulcerations and perferations in their bowels.  Sound familiar?  I wonder how long it will take some scientist or doctor to try this new medicine--if it indeed proves beneficial--on adults with IBD? 
"Besner discovered a growth factor, named HB-EGF, that promises to [fix preemies' intestines].

The body normally produces this protein, which helps stimulate intestinal cells to grow and counters inflammation. It's found in the amniotic fluid that nurtures a fetus, and in breast milk. (In fact, premature infants given breast milk through their feeding tubes seem to have a lower risk of NEC than those who receive formula.)"

One has to wonder if adults with IBD are lacking this protein that everyone else has and that's why their intestines don't heal themselves from normal wear and tear and end up inflammed and ulcerated.  And if this is indeed the case, will this drug not help them as well? 

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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 8/8/2006 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Interesting Keri, thank you.

I was a preemie... You think there's a connection?
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/8/2006 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
You'll note they say in the article that complications from underdeveloped intestines can last forever. Obviously colon resectioning is the biggest culprit for life-long problems, but it looks to me that it would be possible for people's intestines to never fully develop once outside the womb.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 8/8/2006 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I too was a preemie...a month early and weighed four pounds-something.  Interesting article Keri!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 8/9/2006 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I was a preemieee toooo.... i see a pattern happeningg... i had really bad colic when i was little apparently...i was a sick bub hehe

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Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1372
   Posted 8/11/2006 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I was not a preemie and I have crohn's and IBS. It also does not run in my family. I hope the drug helps those babies.
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