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08-09-2011, 11:11 AM   #1
Carrie630
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Another reason why I "can't have Crohn's"

I made this a separate thread I'm curious about this.

More than one person has said recently that Crohn's is a Jewish disease and non-Jews don't get it. As in, "well you're not Jewish so you don't have Crohn's, it's probably diverticulitis or something." (according to the doc its not diverticulitis and this person is clearly not a doctor but anyway...) I was a bit offended by that last comment because it felt similar to, "HIV and AIDS is a Gay Disease so if you're not gay you won't get it" which is entirely not true and marginalizes the group of people being referenced.

Obviously it affects more than just Jewish people, but I was doing some reading that says they are more likely to be affected. I wonder how true this is. How many of you are Jewish or of Jewish descent? It seems like soooo many people have it that it's hard to believe most are Jewish. Has a doctor ever brought this up when working on your diagnosis? what's up with that? just a rumor based on old fashioned ideas of Crohn's?
08-09-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
Crohn's Mom
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I've heard this before and read about it as well.
I find myself wishing it were a "fact" sometimes as this could mean I could blame my daughters disease on my ex; her dad ! LOL
I wish it were that easy...;/
He is of "jewish descent" though and it has actually crossed my mind quite a bit when it comes to CD, but no one else in his side of the family has IBD that we know of- only on mine and we are mostly dutch/german.
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08-09-2011, 11:25 AM   #3
chrisnsteph1022
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I have read that Jewish people have a higher incidence of Crohn's than the non-Jewish population.
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08-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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I have Dutch/German heritage too - ALTHOUGH - my Mother is from Finland - and SHE is the one in the family that has asymptomatic Crohns' (according to her doctor in the past couple of years!)
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08-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
lookame
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I am not Jewish nor am I of Jewish decent. I am however mostly German but I am the only one in my family to have Crohns.
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08-09-2011, 12:15 PM   #6
Carrie630
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Tiny subset of people so far, but nearly everyone has mentioned Dutch/German. I am primarily Irish/French with lesser Dutch and German, but no Jewish that I know of.
08-09-2011, 12:34 PM   #7
Gidget
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K, here is a twist. Why Jews? 1st I was brought up believing I was Jewish, my mother was apparently Mormon and went against the flock and married a ... Jew! :O I am 43yrs old and didnt learn this until 1year ago! But I have it; so is it the 'Stress' of living as a Jew? You know we worry about Everything! (True) or is it a genetic makeup? I have never heard about it being more prevalent there, but I also am new to acceptance that I have this, (Will be confirmed medically 9/22) - (I hope)
08-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #8
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My Dr told me it was an Auto Immune Deficiency.. And that it attacks different people differently. Like for example my father has diabetes, I do not. No risk other than him. I have Crohns, he does not. But we share the AID. So in my dad it manifested in the Diabetes and in me it is Crohns. Has anyone else been told this?
08-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #9
Carrie630
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Gidget, its supposed to be the genetics. Here's a quote I found, "Research has shown evidence of a genetic predisposition to chronic IDB among Jewish individuals of Eastern European descent." I guess it's primarily Ashkenazi Jewish people.

Here's a link I found about issues specifically for that ancestral line.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/.../genetics.html

Since they are eastern european you would think there is some cross-over with other eastern europeans.
08-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #10
outlier
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it is actually only a subset of jews called Ashkenazi Jews. however there is believe to often be a sampling bias since there was also a larger per portion doing research. Dr. Crohn's himself was an Ashkenazi jew.
I'm an Ashkenazi Jew but have no relatives with Crohn's.
A gene related for AS (a crohn's related arthritis) i believe is more common among Scandinavians i believe

I know that Crohn's is higher in developed countries then developing countries, but i also noticed when looking up how to spell Ashkenazi, i noticed that Wikipedia listed that "Crohn's disease is more common in northern countries, and shows a higher preponderance in northern areas of the same country." which is the signature of a virus. not to get off topic.
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08-09-2011, 12:48 PM   #11
Gidget
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Holy WoW, I guess I just assumed I got a lucky # w/the Crohns. And that sounds like it is right. I know very little about my Mothers family other than the Bombshell.. :LOL I only learned that by making a F/B memorial page for her after she passed and her estranged family contacted me.. Sry O/T too.. ;( I will look up the descents of that group, They like everyone else came from 'Somehwere' ; )
08-09-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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The Mormon settlers were the first Americans of northern European descent to develop agricultural practices that were adapted to the arid West... Quoted from People of the Colorado Plateau.
Looks like they got me no matter which Religious practice it is! :LOL
08-09-2011, 01:08 PM   #13
RFarmer
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I wonder how far back they mean, when they say "jewish descent"... Jews have roamed europe for ages. They've been in germany. They've been in the UK. I think it's kinda hard to tell if your of jewish descent, because jewish people permeated every culture so much before the establishment of the state of israel.
08-09-2011, 01:18 PM   #14
outlier
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Nchuleftingth part of why jewish can be used as a distinct ethnicity in genetic terms is because until recently they was virtually no inter marriage and while they were in European cities they were kept separate.
08-09-2011, 01:57 PM   #15
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Ehh.. Segregation...
08-09-2011, 04:39 PM   #16
MADiMarc
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Huh, something else to think about. I came across an article about this a while back but didn't bother to read it. As far as I know, I am not Jewish and I have Crohn's. So didn't apply to my situation.
However, the Jewish faith requires a diet that has served those of their faith well through the centuries. I wonder if that may have something to do with it. Crohn's (like someone above said) is found in developed countries. Developed countries tend to be cleaner, have better healthcare and better diet. All things historically found within the Jewish faith.
Pay no attention to my ramblings. Just kind of thinking out loud.
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08-09-2011, 05:48 PM   #17
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Ahhh Michelle! I think you are onto something there! Although my Dr is pretty positive it is simply luck of the draw... Who feels Lucky today! (How do I enable the emoticons? I Love those!)
08-09-2011, 05:52 PM   #18
ameslouise
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Interesting thoughts, Michelle. Just one more reason for me not to want to keep kosher!

BTW, I'm Jewish, but I converted. I took my conversion so seriously I even developed a "Jewish" disease!!!

- Amy
08-09-2011, 06:18 PM   #19
Carrie630
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Gidget, if you click on advanced reply you can emoticon
08-09-2011, 06:25 PM   #20
MADiMarc
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Amy, you still crack me up girl!
08-09-2011, 06:43 PM   #21
Gidget
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WoW Thank YOU!!! hippy:
08-09-2011, 06:44 PM   #22
RFarmer
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Nchuleftingth part of why jewish can be used as a distinct ethnicity in genetic terms is because until recently they was virtually no inter marriage and while they were in European cities they were kept separate.
Thank you outlier! I had no idea.


Interesting thoughts, Michelle. Just one more reason for me not to want to keep kosher!

BTW, I'm Jewish, but I converted. I took my conversion so seriously I even developed a "Jewish" disease!!!

- Amy

So you converted TO judaism? I asked an elder once "what does it take to become a jew?"... He told me: "Why the hell would you want to be a jew? Everyone wants to kill us!" ... I laughed.
08-10-2011, 01:37 AM   #23
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I am Greek to the bone, coming from a line of Greeks which goes back 20 generations on both sides. My ancestors go as far as the byzantine empire and they were all Greek even then. I have checked my family tree (my father and mother made one a few years ago) and there isn't any mixed marriage in the family over the last 100+ years.

And I have Crohns So I am the Super Crohnnie Greek

hehehe
08-12-2011, 10:25 AM   #24
25times
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Back before I was diagnosed, I was reading up on crohns. Not so much reading, but skimming. I saw something about it being a "jewish disease" so I dismissed it. When my doctor mentioned it could be crohns, I was like, but I'm not jewish. At all... He laughed at me. He said that crohns is a little more prevelant in the jewish community, but it is not a "jewish disease." Not all jews get it, and alot of non-jews get it. So that makes sense.

I'm Irish and Swiss. And I definitely have crohns. As do other people in my family. I think it can hit pretty much anyone, although it's alot more common in north america. Who knows. All I know is that I have it, I'll have it for life, my kids may get it, and they'll have it for life. I don't have alot of hope for a cure, to be honest. But I'm a pretty negative person, unfortunately. A cure would be lovely, but I don't see them developing one in my lifetime. And that's ok.
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08-12-2011, 11:00 AM   #25
outlier
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It fascinating to me that we known all sorts of disease that show up in the Ashkenaze community thanks to a sampling bias, but African American men drop dead at 62 and everyone holds up there hands likes it's a complete mystery.
While knowing the genetics of disease can be useful, I always wonder if there are more useful things. When we forget people get disease not ethnic groups or genders, more people can be helped.
08-12-2011, 12:32 PM   #26
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I am Greek, French, and ScotchIrish. I also have Mediteranean Anemia. Crohn's was discovered by Dr. Crohn in a Jewish community. So in a sense it is a Jewish disease .

Wendy
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08-12-2011, 10:49 PM   #27
SarahAnne
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Polish on my mom's, German/English on my dad's. Dad has Barrett's esophagus and chronic kidney stones (massive size). Mom is dx'd with IBS, Sjogren's syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and is being treated (but hasn't received an official dx) for fibromyalgia. It would appear the Polish gave me my auto-immune issues!
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08-12-2011, 10:50 PM   #28
SarahAnne
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Curious, my hubby's family is Polish too, and his grandmother's niece has Crohn's.
08-13-2011, 11:54 AM   #29
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My mother's German/Jew and Irish, my father is from Norway. My husband's family also has Crohn's and he's German/Jew, Polish on his father's side and Navajo, Mexican, and Mongolian on his mother's side.

I guess maybe some races may be more prone than others, but IMHO it's easy to make statistics say ALOT of things that could have numerous other factors involved, too.
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08-13-2011, 12:18 PM   #30
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"Race and Ethnicity

IBD also appears to affect certain ethnic groups more than others. For example, American Jews of European descent are four to five times more likely to develop IBD than the general population. IBD has long been thought of as a disease predominantly affecting whites; the prevalence rate (the number of people with a disease at a given time) among whites is 149 per 100,000. However, there has been a steady increase in reported cases of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis among African Americans. The prevalence rates among Hispanics and Asians are lower than those for whites and African Americans."

"Who Gets IBD?

Researchers have been working actively for some time to find a link to specific genes that control the transmission of this illness. Recently, an important breakthrough was achieved when the first gene for Crohn's disease was identified by a team of IBD investigators. The researchers were able to pick out an abnormal mutation or alteration in a gene known as NOD2/CARD 15.. This mutation, which limits the ability to recognize bacteria as harmful, occurs twice as frequently in Crohn's patients as in the general population. There is no way to predict which, if any, family members will develop Crohn's disease. The data further suggest that more than one gene may be involved. Thanks to new technologies, researchers are closing in on the additional genes that may be involved in IBD." http://www.ccfa.org/info/about/crohns

Simply because some races are more prone to the disease does not mean they are the only ones to get it. It is in our genes though but even if you are related to those who are more prone to the disease does not mean you will get it.

Edit: No I am not of Jewish decent.
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