Father tells me that the crohn's diease I have isn't genetic because we are not jewish?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1024
   Posted 7/15/2009 8:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys. I'm sorry that I have not been on lately (or for a while). I had a pretty bad accident a year ago and we thought I was going to lose my right arm. Very painfull and I still have not gotten full use of the fingers and arm in general. But that can be explained on another post.

My father has read some where that crohn's is only genetic in Jewish familys and since We don't have any Jewish blood on either side (mother or father) I either suffer from something else or my crohn's is not genetic. Since I was diagnosed in 04 He see's me as a bad apple. Saying it's somehow genetic means wee carry bad genes. I'm ruining my family's good name so to speak.

Is there any truth to this? Am I putting my family through this and I can't possilbly?


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 7/15/2009 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
In all the research I've done on Crohns, I have NEVER seen anything that ties it to Jewish genes.  I am not Jewish either and I know for a fact, as does my GI doctor, that I have Crohns Disease.  I'm sorry if you feel like your somehow ruining your family name - it just isn't true (in my opinion anyway)

Crohn's Disease. 
Diagnosed 13+ years ago. 
Been in remission for short periods of time but each time I come out of remission my disease seems to have spread.  No longer isolated in my ileum, now from stomach down to rectum.  Currently have C-Diff.
Current Medications for the Crohns:  Humera 40mg injections every other week, Imuran 150mg, 3xday, Levsin, Welchol 625mg, Flagyl 250mg, 3xday, Calcium, Acidophilus & Potassium
Previous Medications I've been on:  Asocal, Pentasa, Cipro, Prednisone & Entocort

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 7/15/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
First, I hope your arm gets better! I have heard that CD is statistically higher in Jewish families, but that doesn't mean anything. That probably just means that in this point in time, it just so happens that those with a Jewish ancestry happen to get CD more. In 30 years, maybe Italians will be the bunch that have more CD patients than anyone else. It's all statistics as far as I'm concerned. It is also preposterous in my opinion to think that only Jews would be subject to a genetic defect. We still don't really know if it is genetic, it just seems like it might be. So it doesn't really mean you carry bad genes, CD likes to pop up when it wants too. I'm the first in my family, and the Miller family around my area seems to be pretty healthy except for me. It is also possible that the defect, (if there is one) will stop with me. There was a post a while ago about parents with Crohn's and I think all the parents said their kids are healthy so far. Besides, you had no choice in your genetic composition, you got half from your mom and half from dad so they would be the bad apples.
23 y/o Male; Dx Crohn's Disease in 2001 at age 14.
Lost 3 inches of colon and 7 inches of ileum in 2004 bowel resection.
CD returns in October 2008, Starting the Maker's Diet June 17, 2009
Current meds: Pentasa: 3000 mg; Fibercon: 2 pills 3x; Imodium: 2 pills 3x
Been on: Prednisone, Flagyl, Cipro, Imuran, Entocort, Remicade
Kyrie eleison!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1024
   Posted 7/15/2009 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for you'r reply. After six surgeries and 15 biopsies(sp) that were positive for crohn's ( that was 3 different colonoscpies that was performed by 3 different doctors [i believe it was actually 15 positive biopsies per colonoscpies ]. My father is truly upset by the idea there might be a kink in his perfect genes.

My father truly believes that only Jewish people can get it genetically. so i have no idea how i must have gotten it. If anybody has any ideas on this please reply and let me know how i can explain this to my father.

Thank you again,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/15/2009 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   

I' have no Jewish genes and I definately have the crohns disease. Some times our family members want to be in denial they do not want us to be so sick. I was once told by a friend that her and her herb friend didn't think I had crohns All I could think of was " my Dr. was better to diagnose the medical field ". She thought I was a good candidate for her herbs also! My thought was Dr. or herbs...I chose DR. I'm not an herb person though I'm sure they may help out people but looking at my friend they don't seem to be helping her much she has colitis. I really think its better to let the qualified experts Dr. diagnose over the ones that are not fully educated in the medical field.
I'm sorry to hear about the car accident I hope your arm gets better and you get better use of that hand.
Wishing you all my best,take care.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 7/15/2009 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   

This topic is actually pissing me because i can't believe some people can be so ignorant.

I'm from India and have no Jewish blood whatsoever in me and yet i have crohn's.

You can also research it online and show it to your dad that it doesn't have anything to do with Jewish people only. Anyone can have this disease.

26 years old
CD for 20 years
Bowel resection in Dec. 2006
Pentasa 4000mg
Entocort 9mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 224
   Posted 7/15/2009 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
i have crohns. i am not jewish and have no trace of jewish in my blood. I have two siblings with crohns and an uncle as well as both grandmothers?
I dont know if it is genetic or not but let me tell you, even if it is, you did not give yourself the disease so I dont understand why he would treat you as a bad apple. It just happens. People, all different kinds of people, get the disease and we didnt give it to ourselves. It just happens. It sucks, but it just happens.
 "The Lord wont give me more than I can handle,i just wish he didnt trust me so much!"
  "let people be people before they are patients"

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/15/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I am the only one in my family that has Crohns and I am not Jewish either. You should tell your Dad that some get Crohns not because of anything heriditary but just because we have a faulty gene that has triggered Crohns in us.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*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 Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3141
   Posted 7/15/2009 10:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey redjeep. Sorry about your accident. I am hoping for more speed to your recovery.

I am not of Jewish decent and we have no ancestral information showing otherwise. I have CD, my sis has UC and my brother has diverticulitis. My family history knowledge of my CD consists of stories that there was those that had "the Grant stomach". This referred to several members of my fathers family who had stomach issues. After long talks with my 80 year old dad, we can figure that he and many of his ancestors had CD undiagnosed. Hmmm sounds genetic to me in my family...I am actually the mystery solver. May be you can be for your family too.
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 635
   Posted 7/15/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to hear about your arm.  I will say this, I hope that ignorance is not genetic. nono
Your dad has his head in the sand about Crohns.  Ask him to do some research from a medical publication or better yet, bring him to a doc visit with you.  Let the person who went to med school set him straight.
I'm sorry for coming off harsh, but I hate that he is casting you off as someone with bad genes.
I hope you know that what he says is crap.
28 years with Crohns in the term ileum.  Feb 07 Resection.  Apriso, Align and possibly going back to Entocort.  Currently pregnant!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 7/15/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I am almost 100% Scotish, My Mother had CD, her cousin has CD, her cousins son has UC and my Great Uncle most likely had one of the IBDs. I am just one of the lucky ones whose family is genetically predisposed to IBD. It was true when CD was first being Dxed that those of eastern European Jewish descent were more likely to have CD. But that doesn't mean that they were genetically inferior or something. Perhaps whatever the "cause" is was more prevalent where they lived and now with travel happening more, the "cause" is moving. Or something in their diet, that we all eat now. Who knows? But it doesn't mean you are a bad apple.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 7/15/2009 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
The bottom line is that there are something like 20 or more genetic markers that it is strongly believed by current research make an individual more susceptible to developing Crohns when they come in contact with one of a wide range of possibke environmental triggering factors (bacteria likely). Many of those genetic markers are more prevalent in some ethnic populations, including Jewish, but they are by no means resticted to them. A good analogy is the collection of genes that make one susceptible to developing alcoholism if one drinks -- more prevalent in Indian, irish and some northern European lines of descent, but not restricted to them. Your father is simply misinformed. You can and likely do have a collection of genetic factors that made you more prone to CD, but if it makes him feel better, only half (at most) would come from him, since you also have half of your mother's genes (and a quarter of each grandparent's, etc.) In fact, it is a dead certainty that each of us carries dozens, if not hundreds, of genes that make us more susceptible than average (and also less susceptible that average) to a huge range of medical and physiological conditions. It may be that he has a genetic proclivity to vain narrow mindedness . . .

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 7/15/2009 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I am 50% German and 50% Russian, and I have Crohns.  Im the only person in my family that has ever had Crohns, but I have a long hisory if IBS, and other stomach issues in my family.  I agree with the other poster who said your dads head is in the sand about Crohns, Id love to know where he got his information from.  I actually have never met anyone who has Crohns and who is Jewish.  Im sorry that you have to go through this with a weak support system.  Im sure you know, but we are all here to support each other, so vent away here anytime you need to.
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Imuran 50mg, Vitamin B12 (injection), D, and C tablets. Fish Oil Tablets, Cats Claw, Slippery Elm, and Reishi.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 7/15/2009 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm half jewish, half methodist swede and my crohn's came from the swedish/methodist side -- those are the only members that have it. My GI says it's very common in swedish ancestry. But she's swedish, so go figure.
strictures, crohn's, adhesions, endo. Pyoderma Gangrenosum.
LDN 4mg ~ Boswellia Serrata ~ Olive Leaf extract ~ SCD yogurt. Using silver sulfadiazine on Pyoderma . B-12 shots. Juicing veggies!

Lady G
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 7/15/2009 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
There is alot of Crohns in my family and there is NO Jewish ANYWHERE in our family lines. So nope, not genetic to just jewish. I really hope you find a way to open your dads eyes up a bit, but either way, don't blame yourself for anything, none of us asked for this of course.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/15/2009 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners said...
I am the only one in my family that has Crohns and I am not Jewish either. You should tell your Dad that some get Crohns not because of anything heriditary but just because we have a faulty gene that has triggered Crohns in us.


But that's contradictionary because of the fact that you are talking genes which do stem from heredity.


Plus, there is no guarantee that Redjeeps father (or other family member(s) won't end up with an IBD at some point, my mom didn't get UC until AFTER I got sick with CD.



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

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/15/2009 12:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry about your accident Redjeep, hope you're recovering well.

It is actually a well known fact that those of jewish decent do have a much higher prevalence of IBD but that doesn't mean one has to have that bloodline in order to get an IBD either. It''s also high in western european decent as well, but again, that doesn't mean that one has to have that bloodline either...it's becomming more prevalent in asian countries now too.

It's easy enough to google prevalence of IBD to get detailed info.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 7/15/2009 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Redjeep, I had always heard something similar to what your father said. So I googled it and here's what I found: "Research has shown evidence of a genetic predisposition to a chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IDB) among Jewish individuals of Eastern European descent."

It's from a Jewish website focusing exclusively on Jewish Genetic Disorders:


We have absolutely NO Jewish ancestry in our family on either side, either--just for the record! Maybe as an ethnic group they have higher incidence? I dunno... confused
Mom to 17 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium, vit. D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Incorporate Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too. Med-free.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 7/15/2009 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I knew a Jewish guy once, and when I told him I had crohn's, he asked if I was Jewish.

I have no Jewish ancestry that I know of, but I guess you never know.
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/15/2009 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I just now got my CCFC journal in the mail today and there's a long article discussing this actual topic (weird eh?)

I obviously won't type it word for word but I will share the most pertinant info from the article so don't mind my spelling mistakes (which I usually am very strict with LOL).

Because of a growing body of evidence, scientists believe that an individual's genetic predisposition, coupled with an environmental trigger(s) set the stage for evens that cause crohn's disease.

An example of the complex relationship between genetics, the evironment and microbes can be found amongs Ashken-a-z-i jews (had to hyphonate or it wouldn't allow it in the post). Ashkenaz- was the name first used in the middle ages for jews living along the Rhine River in northern France and western Germany. This part of the world, known as the Ashkenz region, became synonymous with the people living in the are.

Later in the 10th and 19th centuries, many of these people migrated eastward and settled in other parts of modern-day Germany, Poland, Austria, EasternEurope and Russia. Many jews who migrated from Europe to other continents in the past 2 centuries were Ashknaz- and today aprox 80% of the worldwide jewish population is Ashke****c in origin.

According to studies conducted over the last decade, IBD affects all etin groups and races. However, it's incidence is very high amongs Ashkenaz- jews. For example, the journal, Gastroenterology (1998;115:1056) oublished a study that found CD has an overall prevalence of 0.1% in North American white, non-jewsih populations. However amongst Ashkenaz- jews living in the same geographic area, IBD is 2-8 times more prevalent.

This seems to indicate that there is a strong genetic component to IBD. This was supported by a study published in the journal "Gut", that found the "first degree" relatives (siblings, offspring) of non-jews with IBD had a 5.2% and 1.6% life-time risk of developing CD and UC.

On the other hand, first degree relatives of jewish people with IBD had 7.8% and 4.5% life-time risk for CD and UC.

Even more revealing was the observation that jewish patients with IBD had a positive family history of 24.3% as opposed to non-jewish patients with a positive family history of only 14.6%.

Complicating the puzzle, there appears to be a geographical or environmental influence to the development of disease. Even amongs jewish peopl, there are differences in the prevalence of IBD based on where they live.

It's observed that jews living in the northern hemosphere have a higher prevalence of IBD in general than those living near the equator, while descendants of jewish immigrants who live in Isreal and South Africa have an intermediate rate of disease. The Israeli Arab community on the other hand has a low frequency of IBD.

The gap appears to be closing between non-jewsh caucasians ana Ashkenaz- jews and put forward the proposition that diseas like IBD have an inverse relationship to the degree of cleanliness in the environment.

Improved hygiene in many idustrialized countries has reduce the amount of exposure that peopl have to important bacteria (microbes). This reduced exposure alters the intestinal flora (normal bacteria in the gus that are essential for norma function) and/or immune system, and leaves genetically predisposed people vulnerable to developing IBD.

There has not been a gene identified so far that can be said to specifically predispose jews to a higher risk for IBD but much more studying is needed.

Bottom line so far, it's not just genetics and it's not just the environment or microbes, Each factor in isolation may pose a risk to an individual no matter what their race or gender or age may be but not necessarily represent a precursor to CD, however a combination of these factors may provide the background tha lends itself to the development of IBD.

Sorry, that was too long but important info!

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 7/15/2009 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Just ignore him when he says such ignorant blabber. I was reading through all of these posts getting really mad and feeling bad for you, but the fact is you're sick, you deal with it, and you don't have to subject yourself to additional torture from others around you. Know that you have a real disease, that has real symptoms that impacts real people - and just let the rest go away!
**32 year old female; Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2001; diagnosis changed to Crohn's disease in 2009 (but still only impacts colon)
**Asacol (4800 mg daily), 6-MP (100 mg daily), Prednisone (8 mg daily...for a few more weeks), Flagyl (250 mg every other day), Nexium (40 mg daily)
**Thankfully only two major flare-ups...2001 and 2009. Hoping to have another 8 years in between the next one (sadly, I do know there will be a next one).
**GOAL of one day being immunosuppressant free...still working on my doctor on this one but I am a world traveler who desperately wants to go to Africa one day!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 209
   Posted 7/15/2009 6:13 PM (GMT -7)   

Went to a Crohns seminar at a Jewish Community Center once. Grrrrr
B-12injections,Pentasa,Loperamide,Entocort,6mp,Hydrochlorothiazide,8 week
Remission since surgery
and 8-week Remicade.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 7/15/2009 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Redjeep, I had hoped that you had been off, because you were feeling better.  Sorry to hear about all bad stuff you have had to deal with, but YEAH that you have kept the arm.
  Crohn's seems to have a multitude of possible causes from genetic to enviromental (I am including infections in enviromental).  There seems to be some genes that are more prone to getting it.  But the logical fallicies that your father is using is like saying you cannot have crohns, because you have blonde hair and blue eyes. 
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/15/2009 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I am not jewish and I have crohn's, Does the post about microbes give me permission to not clean my house, I could use the excuse that I am saving my children from ending up with my horrible disease.
Dx CD Oct '06  remarried July '05 mom of 3 boys ages 12, 15, and my baby born Oct. 07. 
Asacol, entocort

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 7/15/2009 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Bluize said...
Your dad has his head in the sand about Crohns.

I would have said he has his head somewhere else, but all in all I guess its the same point... Like someone else said, your parents gave you the genes, so blame them for being the bad apples (thats what I do, jokingly of course)
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