Is Crohn's in Your Genes?IN NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MEDICINE
A study from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Genetics Consortium (NIDDK-IBDGC) has found a possible genetic link to the development of Crohn’s disease.
Appearing in Genes and Immunity, the study chronicled information from researchers who examined 993 families with a history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Of those families, 244 were of Ashkenazi Jewish decent, a group that is twice as likely to develop IBD. They are also more likely to have a family history of the condition.
To date, researchers believe this is the largest group of Jewish families to participate in such a study, meaning it is the first time there have been enough participants to study genetic regions for an ethnic predisposition to the condition.
Researchers discovered that chromosomes 1 and 3 contained information unique to Ashkenazi Jews. Variations on chromosomes 2, 13 and 19 appeared in both the Jewish and non-Jewish families with a history of IBD.
More about IBD
According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Crohn’s disease and related conditions create inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and digestive tract. The disease is caused by a response in the immune system that is inappropriate.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Anal fissures
- Persistent diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Reduction of appetite
- Weight loss
Symptoms can be mild, or they can be quite intense. Crohn’s disease is not fatal, but it is a life-long problem marked by periodic episodes of intense symptoms.
| Modify Your Meals
Because Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition, part of dealing with the disease is taking part in a lifelong management regimen. Medications including antibiotics and immune modifiers can be employed in the treatment, and many patients with Crohn’s disease eventually require surgery. However, you also can make dietary modifications to help lessen the symptoms.
Advice from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) includes:
The CCFA also encourages anyone with Crohn’s disease to surround themselves with supportive, caring friends and family to help lessen the emotional impact of the illness.
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Sources: ccfa.org, digestive.niddk.nih.gov, sciencedaily.com