A Answers (3)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredAlthough the causes of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not known, autoimmune disorders -- those in which your immune defenses attack your own body -- are believed to play a major role. Possible triggers include genetic predisposition, unknown environmental factors, an abnormal response to the normal bacteria in the intestinal tract, or a virus. Most people are diagnosed with these disorders as young adults, although sometimes children and older adults are diagnosed with IBD.
Riverside Health System answered
No one knows for sure what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Experts think that abnormal action of a person's immune system may trigger IBD. The immune system is made up of various cells and proteins. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infections caused by viruses or bacteria. Once the infection has cleared up, the immune system "shuts off."
But in people with IBD, the immune system seems to overreact to normal bacteria in the digestive tract. And once it starts working, the immune system fails to "shut off." This causes the inflammation, which damages the digestive tract and causes symptoms.
IBD runs in families. This suggests that inherited factors called genes play a role in causing IBD. Experts think that certain genes may cause the immune system to overreact in IBD.
Stress and eating certain foods do not cause IBD. But both can make IBD symptoms worse.
This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital answered
While the cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown, both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis appear to have a genetic component, meaning that these diseases run in families. Also, people of Jewish heritage, particularly the Ashkenazi Jewish population, have an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease. Researchers have identified close to 32 genes that may play a part in Crohn’s disease. Researchers at the Jill Roberts Center are currently collaborating with Weill Cornell Medical College researchers and exploring the function of one of these genes—the NOD-2 gene—and Crohn’s disease. Specifically, researchers are investigating to see if the NOD-2 gene is linked to low levels of interleukin 10 (IL-10), which is an anti-inflammatory protein in the body. This deficiency in IL-10 may drive the persistent inflammation that occurs in the intestines of people with Crohn’s disease.
A possible link between the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Crohn’s disease involving the ileum (the very end of the small intestine) has been found by researchers at the Jill Roberts Center in collaboration with colleagues at Cornell University and Washington University.