What Is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease characterized by patchy inflamed areas involving the full thickness of the intestinal wall that can occur anywhere in the intestinal tract, in addition to, mucosal disease.
In Crohn’s disease there is ongoing immune activation which produces inflammation and ulceration but the cause is not known and the severity varies among patients. At diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, factors predictive of subsequent 5-year aggressive disease are an age below 40 years, the presence of perianal disease, and the initial requirement for steroids.1
Dysbiosis is a factor that develops in and worsens Crohn’s disease and stress is a factor in both of these conditions. Psychological stress activates multiple physiological processes aimed at maintaining balance within the body. These physiological processes also have the capacity to influence the composition of microbial communities in the digestive tract, and research now indicates that exposure to stressful stimuli leads to gut microbiota dysbiosis.2
While the relative abundance of many different bacterial types can be altered during stressor exposure, findings in nonhuman primates and laboratory rodents, as well as humans, indicate that bacteria in the genus Lactobacillus are consistently reduced in the gut during stress.2
Q: Is there a cure for Crohn’s disease?
A: Presently, Crohn’s disease cannot be cured. This condition has a course of remissions, when symptoms subside, and flares, when symtpoms get worse. Treatment is aimed to reduce flares and promote remission.
What Is Crohn’s Disease In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?
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- Beaugerie L, Seksik P, Nion-Larmurier I, Gendre JP, Cosnes J. Predictors of Crohn’s disease. Gastroenterology. 2006;130:650–656.
- Galley JD, Bailey MT. Impact of stressor exposure on the interplay between commensal microbiota and host inflammation. Gut Microbes. 2014 May 1;5(3):390-396. Epub 2014 Apr 1.