Crohn's from...municipal drinking water?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 9/26/2009 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Received this article today in my inbox. Evidence in this article is very shaky. But still interesting to learn that chlorination does not kill mycobacteria, so municipal water may actually selectively enrich that kind of bug, and pipes are known to harbor MAP. A possible explanation for why developed countries are more prone to this disease... Maybe.

Possible Transmission of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis through Potable Water: Lessons from an Urban Cluster of Crohn's Disease

A "cluster" of patients refers to the geographic proximity of unrelated patients with the same disease and suggests a common environmental cause for that disease. Clusters of patients with Crohn's disease have been linked to the presence of an infectious microorganism in unpasteurized milk and cheese, untreated water supplied by wells or springs, animal manure used as fertilizer for family vegetable gardens, and bodies of water contaminated by agricultural runoff. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is the suspected cause of Crohn's disease. MAP causes a disease in dairy cows and other animals that is similar to Crohn's disease, called Johne's ('Yo-knees') disease or paratuberculosis. Dairy cows with Johne's disease secrete MAP into their milk and excrete MAP into their feces. MAP is present in untreated water such as well water, in bodies of water contaminated by agricultural runoff, and in unpasteurized milk and cheese. The "treatment" of "tap" water to make it "drinkable" or "potable" by the processes of sedimentation, filtration and chlorination has little to no effect on MAP. MAP is so resistant to chlorine disinfection that such disinfection actually selects for its growth. Other subspecies of Mycobacterium avium grow in biofilms present on tap water pipes. Despite the documented presence of MAP in tap water and its probable growth on tap water pipes, clusters of Crohn's disease have not previously been described in relationship to tap water pipes supplying patients' homes. This report describes three unrelated individuals who lived on the same block along a street in a midwestern American city and developed Crohn's disease within four years of each other in the 1960's. A common tap water pipe supplied their homes. This is the first reported cluster of Crohn's disease possibly linked to fully treated drinking water, and is consistent with previously reported clusters of Crohn's disease linked to an infectious microorganism in water.
July 2007 Drug-Induced Liver Injury
January 2008 Crohn's Ileitis
Currently trying... Enteral Nutrition, VSL#3, Primadophilus Reuteri, Folic Acid, Vitamin E

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 9/26/2009 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thats interesting..because...i moved to Lawrence Mass...and the water was horrible..after that i started getting sick..and i hadn't been sick like that since i was like five...and i have never been the same since...

 Crohn's anal fistula Lupus Hyperthyroid..Pentasa Remicade


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/27/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I just think there are too many possibilities as to the cause of Crohns disease for MAP to be the only culprit. I am the only one of five children in my family who has Crohns. My siblings all drank the same water/milk I did and none of them have Crohns or anyother autoimmune disease, in fact although they are all obese, they are quite healthy. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 9/27/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for posting that, Illini! Dr. Behr's presentations to the CCDC on youtube have touched on the prospect that MAP could be in our water supply. There are many IBD videos here. I'm sorry..... Can't remember which speaks to water contamination...

If I recall correctly, I believe Dr. Behr was far more concerned about MAP in milk, cheese and other dairy than in our water, although he didn't discount it in any way. He also confirmed that chlorination would not kill it.

Personally I believe MAP to very possibly be a major player in IBD. Our over use (or even one time use for some people) of antibiotics may set up the perfect conditions internally for this micro-organism to get a toe hold. This might help explain why, as in our family, you see someone diagnosed with Crohn's when there is no family history of it. No one in our family or extended family has IBD, but my son was on antibiotics too often as a very young child for repeated ear infections... Perhaps in only takes that *one* time when conditions are just right.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 9/27/2009 8:27 PM (GMT -6) my case..i am the only one who moved to Lawrence and the only one who drank the water....

 Crohn's anal fistula Lupus Hyperthyroid..Pentasa Remicade


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