While only 10 percent of the population is left-handed, an astonishing 21 percent of those with inflammatory bowel disease are left-handed, according to a study conducted by researchers from Royal Free Hospital and University College Medical School in London.
This statistic held true both for those who had ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the large intestine or the colon, as well as the rectum. Crohn’s disease is somewhat similar to colitis, and involves fever, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, diarreha and abdominal pain. If left untreated, both diseases can be life-threatening. Dr. Danielle Morris, who led the study, suggested that the tendency of irritable bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to be associated with left-handedness, as well as asthma and diabetes, suggests left-handedness may be correlated with some sort of autoimmune dysfunction that predisposes left-handed individuals to such diseases. She says:
“The reasons are uncertain and speculative. Development of the brain and left-handedness is partly genetic and there is a genetic pre-disposition to inflammatory bowel disease…It is probably more likely they might have a common environmental factor, such as infection in early life.”
As of now, she says that the nature of the correlation is entirely speculative, adding “At the moment, it is an interesting but unexplained finding.”