Hi! I was interested to read your post as I too have had stomach problems together with the exfoliative cheilitis that I have had for the past 4 years now.
My story is that I was diagnosed approx 7 years ago with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.I had been experiencing a deep, nagging pain in my left side just underneath my rib cage for weeks which usually worsened when I was at work ( my job is quite stressy -a kids nurse)My GP basically examined my tummy and said she could feel my colon 'spasms'. I had also had a long history of swinging between constipation and loose stools plus bloating.So that was that.I was prescribed a food supplememnt called 'fibergel' to aid digestion and some tablets for the spasms. Gradually my symptoms eased and all was fine - then in August 2003 the lips started - dry, sore,brown flaking skin on the upper and lower lips, white peeling skin when I got them wet,etc,etc. I have been battling ever since with this condition like everyone else that has posted here (God, I'm so glad 2 find this site - sometimes it feels like u are the only one, doesnt it?) I have tried every cream, lotion, lip balm, antibiotic, antifungal, homeopathic treatment under the sun to no avail.I have also tried the NOTHING AT ALL, NO TOUCHING, NORMAL DRINKING AND EATING, STOP LOOKING AT THEM THING as well and I have to say of ALL the so called treatments I tried I have to say that was the most successful.My lips vastly improved for about 10 months.Consequently, I felt the least stressed and paranoid about my lips for the first time in years.They were still dry admittedly but they were managed at night with a bit of blistex and nothing more!
THEN (and this is why I am intrigued by your message) about a month ago my lips deteriorated again.Started becoming increasingly dry, flaky, brown and I started obsessing again about their state PLUS MY STOMACH PROBLEMS EMERGED AGAIN - pain in my left AND right sides, bloating, consipation and diarrhoea and worse before my diagnosis. My lips also got worse during this time.I have researched this too and discovered as you mentioned that CROHNS DISEASE (very similar symptoms to IBS) can be a causation of cheilitis.
Now it is HIGHLY DEBATABLE whether the two are related in my case and as a health carer I know how this can be a deficit when thinking logically about my own condition! (too much knowledge makes u far more paranoid!!!)I dont know if my stomach issue is exacerbated by the stress of my lips or if my lips are directly related to the flare up of my stomach problems.Mind you, the fact that the chelitis only reared its head 3 years after my IBS diagnosis makes me think otherwise but who knows?? I have not as yet returned to my GP about this as I have found most doctors I have consulted regarding the cheilitis have been less than helpful.I just dont know at all.In the interim, I just try my best to keep both things under control if i can and live as much of a normal life as poss......Anyway, best of luck and kind wishes to all.Her is hoping and praying we all find our own solutions some time soon.....xxxxx