Something in the water?

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Persephone767
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/14/2008 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
So, I'm new here. Hi everyone.
 
Anyway, over the years I've formed some theories, questions, the like. I was a healthy, robust kid. Energetic. I got sick when I was 12, and didn't get better (there was stress involved in the onset of the Crohn's, but that's a different part of the theory). After I was diagnosed and set on the road to remission, my parents suggested that I go to a CD/UC support group for kids/teens. I'm not a huge fan of support groups like that, but what the heck. So during this group we get up and introduce ourselves, names, ages, what school we go to...and one of the boys a few seats down from me goes to the rival junior high. We live in the same town. Interesting, but I didn't think much of it. As a high school freshman I flare again, and I'm roomed with a girl a year younger than me. How convenient. It turns out she's from the next town over, and she'll be going to the same high school when she graduates from 8th grade...Ok. So I find out in school that along with my roommate and the boy from the support (who now went to the same high school), that there are 4 other teens at the SAME school all with CD (one case of UC). The school is fairly big - 2000 students total, but not a huge school. As a junior in high school my family moved - 20 miles west of where we had been living. And not a soul at my new school had heard of CD, let alone seen anyone with it.
 
So my question to all of you: Are you the only one in your area with CD, or do you know numerous people with it?
 
Along with all the other possibilities for people having CD, is it possible that there's an environmental factor - something in the water, so to speak?

25 years old
Diagonsed in Jan 1997 with Crohn's Disease
Sick since Nov 1995
Diagnosed in June 2005 with Osteoporosis
Current Meds: Humira pen every other week
                    Methotrexate 25mg every week
                    Folic acid, multivitamin, calcium daily
Previous Meds...so many!


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 9/14/2008 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, aside from family (no actual diagnoses, but lots of suspicious illnesses) one of the 8 adjoining neighbors has Crohn's. Nowadays, I begin to think that a lot of problems come from the same source.

Environmental factors? There are known triggers for people with Crohn's - Gut infection, stress, NSAIDs, alcohol and a few others. But you're asking about things like MAP (mycobacterium avis paratuberculosis, I think)? It may be so, but with current research, the direction is towards genetic factors that dispose Cronnies to have an overactive immune system. Any of the triggers above can cause gut permeability and allow gut bacteria to pass through the gut wall and cause an immune response. In Cronnies, it seems, the immune response is stronger and is not terminated as it should be. People without Crohn's have the same initial sequence, but their immune response is terminated fairly soon.

LBJ
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 9/14/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
There is actually another lady I work with that has Colitis so she can totally relate to me and my CD. Back in school I don't know anyone who had CD. If they did, they didn't share. I didn't know I had it back then anyway. It was later after I started the work force that I came down with it.
Living with Crohn's Disease since Jan./2000 but had a few years prior
I'm a true Crohnie with IBS and Arthrities too
 
Meds I have tried:  Too many to list- LOL
Meds currently on:  Prednisone-  I am off of it!!   YAAHH!!! :-)   
                           Methotrexate injections once a week 25mg
                           Folic Acid 5mg every day
                           Wellbutrin twice a day
No Surgeries
 


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/14/2008 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
It's not so much a spike in one area but industrialized areas so to speak. There is also strong scientific evidence that proves immunological susceptibility to pathogens and bacteria in populations that become dense(ie human overpopulation).
I feel like it's a combination of evolutionary mechanisms on genetics and environmental factors that trigger these such as stress, diet, and of course bacteria. Potential microbial perpetrators are E. Coli which HAS been reported to have caused many new cases of ulcerative colitis(it is a new strain) and then the Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis which may or may not cause/trigger Crohn's and perpetuate inflammation. It could be that poor diet is the trigger, physical and mental stress, or simply a matter of time. I definitely had the physical and mental stress which came at a time when I was low on funds so there was a period of poor diet as well.

A radiologist working at the nearby hospital stopped into my fiance's workplace a while back and had said there had been an increase in the cases of Crohn's lately so it does make me wonder...but it could all be a natural evolutionary process. I hate to think of it that way sometimes because of the implications on what those of us who have it actually are in relation to the rest of our species. On that subject though I'll quit before I'm ahead..I don't want to offend anyone with that 'separate from human fabric due to scientific perspective.'

But right now who knows? There are so many possibilities and a lot of studies linking the cause to genetics and then external environmental factors. Time and research will tell hopefully. There seem to be a lot of advances being made in this kind of research.
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/14/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Here is a link to a thread that is close to what you are talking about.

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=1235422

It is in the UC forum, but I believe there is a similar thread with a different discussion to it here on the Crohn's forum.

One of the more interesting things I've done is to do a google search of Crohn's and UC, and the number of articles that come up is amazing. Everything from straight up descriptions of the disease, to the so-called diet 'cures', to research articles, to articles that describe possible causes. It is important to remember when reading some of this stuff, that a lot of the articles are trying to persuade to you buy into their philosophy. Just because someone can quote a research study doesn't mean that that study is real, or they aren't misrepresenting findings.
Have some fun researching, and let us know what kind of conclusion you come to.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06 - currently flaring
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Prednisone 30mg


njmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I recently saw, again, the movie about Erin Brockovitch, who successfully linked contaminated water to all kinds of problems.
 
This time, when I watched, my ears perked up when I heard her mention Crohn's in the long list of ailments a family suffered due to the contamination.

lil-momma
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Interesting theories are all over.......It really makes you wonder. We are originally from a very small town in NY. I know of at least a dozen people with colitis or crohn's from there. We moved to the south 12 yrs ago to a very populated area. I don't know as many people here as in my hometown so maybe there are more here and I'm just not aware. I've been reading all kinds of things and most seem to say that it really needs to be a perfect storm so to speak to contract either?!
Dx w/UC in 2001 - controlled by diet.
Mother to 15 yr old daughter dx w/CD 9/07-  she had surgery for abcesses 11/07.  She is taking multi-vit, iron for anemia, bentyl prn, prilosec 20mg-x2, pentasa  500mg-x5, prednisone 10mg-x6, 6 mp 50mg-x3, Flagyl 250mg-x3


kimberlayn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Just my two cents- I think more cases are diagnosed now because it has been studied more, people are more willing to admit to diseases than they were a couple of decades ago, and doctors in an area with a couple of patients with crohn's will have the disease on their mind when dealing with other patients so they might be more likely to catch it sooner. Whenever I tell someone I have Crohn's and they tell me they know someone else with it, I always think of the 'pregnancy effect'-when you are pregnant you see pregnant women Everywhere! You think you must be part of a baby boom! But you only didn't notice the pregnant women until it was something that was in your mind and something you shared with them. It's alot easier to notice commonalities than it is differences in other people.
diagnosed w/Crohn's 11/06. 34f with 2 boys, a lovable dog, and a wonderful husband. 150 mg Imuran, bentyl, vicodin as needed, metoprolol for orthostatic hypotension and heart palpitations. Bowel resection 9/07. Active disease back, darn it 8/08. 11 year old son with IBS-C, on Bentyl.


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Kimberlayn, I think you are correct about the condition being diagnosed more now than before. But it is still mainly an industrialized country phenomena. People in third-world countries are either not getting diagnosed, or their bodies are so used to fighting off bacteria that they aren't as affected by things as we are. There is a theory floating around that because of our germ-free, anti-bacterial, clean freak lifestyle in the US (among other countries) it actually contributes to our getting sick! Years ago, when people weren't as concerned about regular household germs, I don't remember kids getting sick all the time. Think all the stuff that got put into your mouth when you were a baby, and then think about the reaction you'd have if you saw one of your own children putting it in their mouth. We've become so paranoid about germs and disinfecting stuff that our bodies are not as well adapted to fight off pathogens as they once were. I'm not against cleanliness or keeping things relatively germ free, but when someone feels they have to wipe their shopping cart down with an anti-bacterial wipe, making sure every inch of surface material is sterile before they will let their kids sit in it, that is taking things a little too far to me.

And I'd like to repeat: the majority of public water systems that treat water, and disinfect it prior to it being distributed to consumers are not the cause of epidemics, except in very rare cases. Most community health problems due to the water come from places that are using well water that is not required to be disinfected or ran through a treatment system. Lots of people will disagree with me on this, but it is the truth...99% of our countries tap water that uses surface water as a source is safe, and free of contaminants and pathogens.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06 - currently flaring
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Prednisone 30mg


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:45 PM (GMT -7)   
According to research, one must first be genetically predisposed to getting an IBD then it's a matter of it being "environmentally" triggered...

You have to realize as well, there could be hundreds of thousands of people walking around that "have the potential of possibly being DX with an IBD" but it simply has not been triggered for them yet.

Also according to researchers, smoking (including second-hand smoke) is a KNOWN environmental trigger specifically for crohn's disease, this does not mean it's necessarily every single crohnies "trigger" but none the less it is a KNOWN trigger for CD.

Many other things are strongly suspected in being involved as being IBD (either CD or UC) triggers such as fast-foods, processed foods/beverages, animal fats, caffeine, refined sugar, sugar substitues/artificial sweetners and MSG's...these things are definitely known to exacerbate IBD symptoms which is why scientists strongly suspect them being linked as possible triggers as well...but of course it's important to remember that one must first be predisposed to getting IBD (genetics) in the first place in order for the above mentioned to be triggers...and for many it could be a combination of triggers that actually sets the disease in motion as well and possibly for others it may just be one "trigger" that sets it off for them.

Check out this link from the CCFC...

http://www.ccfc.ca/English/research/todaysresearch.html

 

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Persephone767
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/17/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
What I've lived has completely contradicted Brandon's post, not that I'm saying it's wrong, it's just not what I've seen - for CD at least. My husband was one of those who was made to wash his hands non-stop, lived in a very clean environment, now every winter he's sick the majority of the time. I've lost count of how many boxes of tissues we go through each season. But I was one who played in the dirt, rarely washed my hands (unless they obviously needed it), stuff like that. I was healthy, I still am - aside from the CD. I can count on my hands the times that I've been sick with something that wasn't CD related in the last 13 years. Also, I grew up in a populated place, with city water. This is where all the kids were sick. When we moved, it was out to (what I felt at the time) the middle of nowhere, with a corn field in our back yard. And well water. And no one out here has even heard of CD. Bizarre, right? Goes against anything that you would expect to see.
25 years old
Diagonsed in Jan 1997 with Crohn's Disease
Sick since Nov 1995
Diagnosed in June 2005 with Osteoporosis
Current Meds: Humira pen every other week
                    Methotrexate 25mg every week
                    Folic acid, multivitamin, calcium daily
Previous Meds...so many!


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/17/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Of course washing his hands non-stop could have caused him to become sicker since it's proven that people who try to completely eliminate germs also eliminate the very thing that helps strengthen the immune system. It's harder for it to fight against anything if there was nothing to fight against in the first place to predispose it to do so. Cleanliness is not always best.
As for the water, I guess I'm more inclined to disagree because I also lived out in the middle of nowhere until I was 18-19 years old, and our source of water was well water.. My brother and I never got sick but the rest of my family members did so there was a some rather distinct variation when it came to that. That's not to say that there aren't bad things in public water supplies like the small amount of drugs that get filtered back into it, but the percentage is very small and there is very little, if any, conclusive evidence against it. Plus, it has beneficial things such as fluoride..

I'm still of the mind that Crohn's is based on genetics and environmental triggers(mainly stressors and poor diet) in addition to nature's own way of controlling population growth.
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/17/2008 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Persephone - Actually, you validated what I was saying. Your husband, who was constantly keeping his body from getting infected somehow lowered his immune response and now he gets ill easier. You, who played in the dirt and was constantly exposing yourself to bacteria have been able to build up a tolerance and defense and therefore don't sick as easily.

I think that my previous statement about community water systems was open to misinterpretation. You stating that kids were always getting sick in the city doesn't prove it was the water. When I was talking about "epidemics" I meant big things that can be directly linked to water such as giardia, typhoid, cryptosporidium, etc. Other ailments like CD, UC, common colds, flu, etc aren't waterborne. CD and UC might be by-products of a bacterial infection, but that in no way proves it was a water-borne bacteria. Colds and flu and such are airborne, or passed from one to another through personal contact, again, not the water.

The reason I say that well water is more prone to bad things is that underground aquifers are assumed to be good, pure sources of water. The monitoring of well water for pathogens is not nearly as stringent as the monitoring requirements for surface water. Plus, many people use personal wells, which are less monitored than a community system. When a public utility is responsible for providing safe water for the community, they are under restrictions and testing guidelines. Someone with a well in their backyard is required to do no testing unless they want to. Whole communities with well water aren't necessarily being provided by a utility...everyone could be using personally monitored wells. And while unlikely, the common aquifer for everyone could be contaminated with something that isn't routinely tested for. It is impossible to test for everything, and many tests are extremely expensive, so if no one thinks there is a reason to test for a particular substance, it won't be tested for.

pb4 said that she thinks a person is genetically predisposed to getting UC or Crohn's after a bacterial infection, and I agree with her completely. But that initial bacterial infection could be from anywhere. My case of UC was diagnosed after a c diff infection (I was exposed to the c diff at a nursing home that I was volunteering at), but I began to show symptoms of the UC years before after I had a giardia infection (that I acquired after a rafting trip where I ended up unintentionally drinking some untreated water). There are other members of my family that have GI problems, my father having been dxed with proci***, other members with IBS like symptoms. The difference is they haven't been exposed to the bad bacteria I have been, or they did not get ill enough from their exposures to require the use of antibiotics.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06 - currently flaring
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Prednisone 30mg


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 9/17/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
beartooth said...

pb4 said that she thinks a person is genetically predisposed to getting UC or Crohn's after a bacterial infection, and I agree with her completely. But that initial bacterial infection could be from anywhere. My case of UC was diagnosed after a c diff infection (I was exposed to the c diff at a nursing home that I was volunteering at), but I began to show symptoms of the UC years before after I had a giardia infection (that I acquired after a rafting trip where I ended up unintentionally drinking some untreated water). There are other members of my family that have GI problems, my father having been dxed with proci***, other members with IBS like symptoms. The difference is they haven't been exposed to the bad bacteria I have been, or they did not get ill enough from their exposures to require the use of antibiotics.

Actually I never said that, especially the part about "bacterial infection" I think you got me confused with what someone eles wrote turn but I definitely believe what reserach has written about the genetics and envrironmental (triggers) factors.  Although I don't know about the bacterial infection thing that does not mean it's not a strong possibility, I hate to rule out anything because there is soooo much that still needs to be learned and they do know that microbes plays a huge role in connection to IBD they just aren't 100% on how or what or why or when.
 
tongue
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Persephone767
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/17/2008 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I wasn't validating it, really. You were saying that because we live in an industrialized country we live in cleaner conditions, some cleaner than others, and because of that the cleaner people are more pre-disposed to getting diseases - including CD. I agree that it doesn't give our immune systems the workout they need, and therefore people are more likely to get sick, but I don't think that that includes diseases like CD. The reason that more people in industrialized countries have these diseases (things like CD, not colds) is because we have the healthcare to save people who in the third-world countries would be dead - which includes me. And then these people who have genetic diseases (knowingly or not) have children who either are carriers or have the disease themselves...and it carries on from there.
25 years old
Diagonsed in Jan 1997 with Crohn's Disease
Sick since Nov 1995
Diagnosed in June 2005 with Osteoporosis
Current Meds: Humira pen every other week
                    Methotrexate 25mg every week
                    Folic acid, multivitamin, calcium daily
Previous Meds...so many!


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 9/17/2008 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
about the bacterial infection preceding Crohn's - a gut infection is one of the known causes of relapse and causes of relapse may be primary causes also. All the known causes of relapse are also causes of increased gut permeability. Since the immune system is attacking normal gut bacteria, it makes sense that gut permeability which allows the gut bacteria to enter the blood would be a trigger. The Crohn's sufferer has an unusual immune response which is the source of the problem.

If you want a reason for developed countries having more CD, look no further than stress. It is a major health threat and it is seriously underestimated. I also think that the use of antibiotics and other drugs contributes to the problem as does the unhealthy diet of people in developed countries.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 9/17/2008 10:50 PM (GMT -7)   
stress and the over-processed/unhealthy diet that is eaten...true for triggers (in my opinion) but still one must be predisposed to getting IBD in the first place.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Persephone767
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/18/2008 5:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Stress definitely sent me over the edge.
25 years old
Diagonsed in Jan 1997 with Crohn's Disease
Sick since Nov 1995
Diagnosed in June 2005 with Osteoporosis
Current Meds: Humira pen every other week
                    Methotrexate 25mg every week
                    Folic acid, multivitamin, calcium daily
Previous Meds...so many!

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