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Autoimmune diseases are impacting younger children each year

June 13, 2019 - 4:00 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is a gastrointestinal problem that leads to intermittent diarrhea abdominal pain and inflammation.

People with IBD can also have a general feeling of being unwell. The condition is becoming more common.

Children are getting it at younger ages and two of the most common conditions — Crohn's and ulcerative colitis — occur when the autoimmune system is acting in usual fashion.

However, now there is information that even short periods of sun exposure are associated with a lower risk of children developing a condition.

Scientists believe that sunshine impacts the immune system, but they are not certain why it has this beneficial effect.

Experts also stressed the point that people should remain sun smart and use SPF lotions and common sense to protect themselves.