Traditionally, researchers have thought that Crohn's was due to an overactive immune system. In the past two years new evidence shows that Crohn's could be due to a weak immune system. But most researchers seem to agree that Crohn's involves at least a dysfunctional immune system. Whatever the immune system is, under or over active, it simply isn't working the way it should.
There is no question that meds like Imuran can very effectively suppress the immune system, which does suppress the inflammation of the small bowel. But what about the rest of the body? What we are doing is suppressing the entire immune system, which we need to fight off viral and bacterial infections.
What if our immune systems are underactive? What if the theory that Crohn's is due to an underactive immune system is correct? What if the inflammation is chronic because the gut reacts weakly...it mounts an attack to something in the intestinal environment, but not a very effective one, so it never finishes the job...hence, continuous inflammation. Sagramostin (spelling?) clinical trials are now underway to test this theory.
The following link takes you to the results of a clinical trial suggesting Crohn's patients have weak immune systems.
I guess the bottom line is maybe, "Is that probiotic, which is supposed to boost my immune system, a good idea?" I haven't found any evidence suggesting probiotics make Crohn's worse, some evidence suggesting they might be able to help, and plenty of evidence showing they offer the rest of the body (including non-Crohn's issues in the GI tract) great benefits.
Post Edited (njmom) : 2/20/2008 6:39:38 PM (GMT-7)