@OldMike - Actually Crohn's likely first appeared 5-10 thousand years ago, with the advent of modern agriculture and strong selective pressure on a particular gene or allele - in the below link, 503f - which gave an advantage to those who had that particular mutation. The downside is that 503f, along with a combination of two other identified genes, also increases the risk of Crohn's disease. blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/08/crohns-disease-is-about-barely-keeping-you-alive/#.UiDTX5LIUpQ
The upside of 503f is that it is a more efficient transporter of the antioxidant, ergothioneine. As a European with Crohn's, I probably have this mutation and therefore am a member of the enhanced transportation of erogothioneine master race. Go me.
Anyways, no, our immune system did not consciously "decide" one day it was fed up with doing its normal job and to stop working properly. It probably came about
as a result of past genetic compromises which maybe helped some people at the time, and screwed up some of us in the present.
@freddyj - Yes, I know what you mean about
it feeling like something just shifted; that's how it seemed with me as well :-/ I'm in a surgical-induced remission now, but I have Crohn's and I know something could trigger the return of that dread disease a second time just as suddenly as it did the first time. It's like a cloud hanging over my head. Anyway, I don't know the state of your current disease, but I hope you manage to get into remission. It is insanely complex and we all would have avoided the triggers if we could have done, so try not to stress out about
not being able to find a cause :-/
@Canada Mark - The article never claimed to be anything other than a theory. But you need to understand the difference between scientific theory and other types of theory. Scientific theories are scrupulously rigorous. Scientists come up with a hypothesis as a possible explanation for something, then conduct experiments to test the accuracy of that hypothesis, and keep on conducting experiments. Over time, existing theories are either elaborated on and improved with new evidence, or discarded with lack of evidence. Over a long enough period of time, some scientific theories become so well-established that nobody except fringe lunatics believe they aren't true (the earth revolving around the sun, for example), but note that they are still called theories. There is always more to understand and learn; that does not mean what we know so far can be dismissed on the slightly contemptuous grounds it's only a "theory".
Sorry, that out of the way, it may be that they are on the wrong track with Crohn's and the innate immune system deficiency theory. Personally I don't think that they are, but it is relatively early days yet.
PS: Just wondering. Have you heard of Thomas Borody, an Australian gastro? He believes that Crohn's is a 'syndrome', or a cluster of infectious diseases. www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperid=19619
- you need a PDF reader to read this, but luckily this article is a fairly straightforward read unlike the genetics one ;p
I don't know why, I just don't really believe Crohn's is an infectious disease (perhaps a few cases, but not the majority...).
PPS: My brain is done-in now, so I'll read the AIEC thing later... :-/