Breakthrough – Cause of Chronic Disease FOUND

Male suffering from stomachache pain,A man stomachache at outdoor,Healthy concept.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) afflicts millions of people across the world, but has long eluded attempts to suss out its cause. Now, scientists believe they have found a major contributing factor, and it might lead to more effective treatments, or even a cure.

There is, it seems, a “weak spot” in the human genome that 95 percent of all sufferers posses. This genetic abnormality makes it easier for immune cells to go hyperactive, driving excessive inflammation in intestinal tissues.

And, in a happy twist of fate, there are drugs already in existence that have been shown to reverse the disease in laboratory experiments. Those drugs are now angling to enter human trials soon.

Inflammatory bowel disease comes in several forms, with some of the most common being ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These two forms affect as many as half a million people in Britain alone. Symptoms often present in adolescence or early adulthood.

One sufferer, 27 year-old Lauren Golightly, first experienced the disease when she was 16, when she was afflicted with horrible stomach cramps and blood in her stool. At the time, she attributed her difficulties to partying too much. But when she had her appendix removed during her twenty-first year, doctors diagnosed her with Crohn’s disease.

When she was 24, part of her intestines shut down and she needed several emergency surgeries. She still has to take “a lot” of painkillers to cope with the damage the surgeries did to her body. The result, she says, is not the life she wants to be living.

IBD is a result of the body attacking itself. White blood cells flood the intestines and release cytokines which create intense inflammation. This is a normal response to infection, but too much of it creates additional health problems, and in autoimmune conditions such as IBD the immune response is triggered by conditions that don’t actually pose a threat to the body. As a result, the body’s defenses damage the body itself.