Sorry if this has already been discussed, but I thought i would share what, to me, is a fascinating topic in the treatment of Crohns, and possibly colitis. This is a web log of a highschool kid with Crohns who had an experimental stem cell transplant procedure to basically eliminate and "re-grow" his immune system. There is a lot to it, so there is no point in writing it out here, but I think that the scientists might be onto something, and their findings could potentially help colitis patients down the road.
Here is one portion of his site:
Why does a stem cell transplant help Crohn's disease?
Crohn's disease is believed to be an auto-immune disorder, meaning that the body's immune system has been improperly told to do something. In the case of Crohn's, it has been told to constantly attack itself. In addition to Crohn's being a problem in the digestive tract, many patients seem to be more reactive to antigens (proteins found in every substance) in the body than other people without Crohn's. So, by taking out stem cells, killing the rest of the immune system with chemotherapy, and then replacing those same cells, doctors believe the patient's immune system will "regrow" and perform normally. However, while stem cell transplants have been used in other diseases such as cancers for years, use for immune disorders is new, and therefore experimental. It is a drastic approach that is currently only being done on patients with severe cases. A little over a dozen Crohn's patients in the United States have used this method. Most, if not all, are have seen a sharp decrease in symptoms or are even in remission now.
To read more, and to read about his progress (he's doing very well) go here: