Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, which occurs as part of a complex interaction between the environment and the immune system. Inheritance and genetics often play a role in whether or not you are susceptible to developing the disease. A look at your family tree can show a history of Crohn's disease. Research to determine the genes that cause Crohn's disease indicates that more than one gene is likely to participate. There is a more complex relationship between the environment and genetics than previously thought.
Crohn's disease and disease
If you have a close relative with Crohn's disease, your chance of developing the disease increases. Between 20 and 25% of people with Crohn's disease have a family member with the disease. If you have a brother with Crohn's disease, the risk of developing the disease increases thirty times. The differences between ethnic groups also suggest a genetic correlation. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, have a risk of developing Crohn's disease two to eight times higher than the general population. Caucasians have inflammatory bowel disease rates of 149 per 100,000, compared to African Americans with rates of 41 per 100,000.
Crohn's current research focuses on the localization of specific genes that have Direct correlations with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. For example, the gene known as NOD2 / CARD 15 recognizes harmful bacteria. People with Crohn's disease often carry mutations of this gene, which they can transmit to future generations. Researchers have also found whole groups of genes that correlate with other presentations of Crohn's disease, such as different sites of inflammation. A colorectal surgeon or gastroenterologist will help you understand and treat Crohn's disease.
Dr. Hoffman does not endorse any product seen on this website.