Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are two major inflammation diseases that affect the gut. Symptoms include: diarrhoea, stomach cramping and abdominal pain,extreme fatigue, weight loss and feeling sick. Around 115,000 people have Crohn’s disease in the UK and 1.4 million in the USA suffer with either Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis that affects only the colon.
The diseases have been on the rise in the Western world since the 1950’s and studies show that although some people are genetically predisposed to getting either Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, genetics alone cannot explain the sharp rise in the number of people suffering with these gut diseases.
But Scientists believe that looking at the diet of Crohn’s sufferers may hold the answers as to why some people are getting the disease. More studies need to be carried out but on a study carried out on 668 children the results showed that the number of good bacteria decreased in Crohn’s patients and the number of bad bacteria increased.
Several studies show that Crohn’s disease is characterised by a shift in the gut microbe populations. This change in our microbes causes inflammation and usually, at the early onset of Crohn’s, a patient would be prescribed antibiotics to help with a supposed gut infection, which can actually worsen the disease.
What we are seeing here is a link between the health of our gut microbe populations and the onset of Crohn’s. And when you look at the change in our diets since the early 1950’s and the sudden increase of the disease, maybe the prevention of Crohn’s is as simple as changing our diet for the better?