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04-29-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
D Bergy
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Bacteria & Autoimmune Disease

I stumbled onto this article that supports my opinion that Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's are not a result of an immune system attacking the body.

Instead the immune system is attacking unidentified bacteria. If that is the case, there is a lot more identification of these bacteria to be done.

Autoimmune diseases have long been regarded as illnesses in which the immune system creates autoantibodies to attack the body itself. But, researchers at the California non-profit Autoimmunity Research Foundation (ARF) explain that the antibodies observed in autoimmune disease actually result from alteration of human genes and gene products by hidden bacteria. Not long ago, scientists believed they had located all bacteria capable of causing human disease, But DNA discoveries in the last decade have led the NIH Human Microbiome Project to now estimate that as many as 90% of cells in the body are bacterial in origin. Many of these bacteria, which have yet to be named and characterized, have been implicated in the progression of autoimmune disease.

Entire article at link below

http://esciencenews.com/articles/200....bacterial.dna

Dan
04-29-2009, 10:44 PM   #2
Colt
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If it were an infection immuno suppressants would make the problem worse, not better as the bacteria were left to run amok. If it's a matter of attacking good bacteria nothing has really changed in a diagnostic/treatment sense.
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04-30-2009, 12:42 AM   #3
pb4
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Lack of a specific bacteria for crohn's is also interesting...

http://www.medindia.net/news/Study-B...se-43186-1.htm
04-30-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
D Bergy
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I do not see a lot of Crohn's patients improving long term. In the short run immune suppressants provide relief from symptoms, when they are effective. In the long run what I see happening with many people is the development of other diseases.

Just make a list of all the other autoimmune problems our group faces. Here are a few I have run across. I am sure most anyone here can add to the list.

Arthritis and its cousin Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Hydradenis Suppuritiva.

Cancer.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Pyoderma gangrenosum.

Celiac Sprue.

Are these just other autoimmune diseases that would occur no matter what, or are they caused by the proliferation of bacteria or other pathogens?

I lean toward the camp that thinks that most of these conditions can be avoided if the pathogens responsible are kept in check. It certainly is not proven to anyone's satisfaction, but when you look at autoimmune diseases as a group, it makes more sense to me that there is a more conventional cause. It is hard for me to believe that the immune system just goes nuts and attacks the very thing it is supposed to protect. That takes a stretch of even my rather flexible imagination.

Another consideration is that Low Dose Naltrexone is used for a host of autoimmune diseases. It's only method of action that is known is the temporary boosting or normalizing of the immune system. Lets take the "boosting" effect for an example. If the immune system is in fact made stronger, and there is evidence of this in its use for Cancer, then it should make any autoimmune disease substantially worse. To make an already berserk immune system attacking the body stronger would only result in a more effective attack of the body.

If instead, it works by Boosting the immune system, allowing your body to finally reduce or eliminate the offending bacteria then its makes sense that it has positive results. There is still the possibility that it is just making a Berserk immune system work normally. It does seem like very simple method to correct what is likely a complicated problem, if this is the case. I am not convinced it would be that easy to correct such a complex immune problem. I think it is far more likely that the relatively simpler process of boosting the immune system is what is happening.

It comes down to Occam's Razor in the end. If several theories are presented, and none of them are more likely than the other, then preference should be given to the simpler one. This does not mean the simpler one is the correct theory. But since most disease is caused by a pathogen, I will stick to what is true most of the time, and consistent with other diseases, rather than a completely different explanation, that seems far fetched. At least until it is proven otherwise.

Only time will tell, which theory, will pan out. It could even be a new theory that does not even exist today.

Dan
04-30-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
AIjen
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Dang. My whole body is full of bad bacteria then.
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04-30-2009, 09:10 PM   #6
D Bergy
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I hope your body is not full of bad bacteria, but it could be.

Another weird thing about these autoimmune diseases in my family is that two out of my three children have them also, but not the same diseases. I suspect my third child will have Crohn's, as he has some minor symptoms already. They are all adults now, so they know what to watch for.

I have Crohn's,

My Daughter has Celiac Sprue.

My youngest son has Hidradenitis Supurrativa.

The genetics are unfortunately mine, but the diseases are different. This also leans me toward the immune dysfunction combined with pathogens causing various diseases. You would think they all would have Crohn's if it was strictly an immune system inheritance.

What are the odds of these three diseases occurring by coincidence? The common denominator seems to be the immune dysfunction and the variable likely the pathogen that is involved. If they do nothing to control bacteria, I think the odds are good they will develop other diseases as well.

Dan
04-30-2009, 09:26 PM   #7
BWS1982
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Astute insight Dan, I believe something along those lines (though, as you said, until proven otherwise)...although, I think the immunomodulators being so prevalent as far as efficacy should mean they "normalize" as well, according to that line of thinking....but maybe again, as it's been theorized, Crohn's is actually a collection of diseases, based on current beliefs/science, that is presumed to be one single affliction (only to be sub-categorized at a later time).

On a side-note, for some reason, my mind seems to develop "anti-Occam's Razor" as I'd call it, as I've always seemed to infuse complexity into an otherwise simple concept. ie: "there has to be more to it"....Sometimes that solves issues, other times it creates them.
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Last edited by BWS1982; 04-30-2009 at 09:32 PM.
04-30-2009, 11:13 PM   #8
D Bergy
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I agree that they do normalize, as far as symptoms are concerned. Even with a suppressed immune system, bacteria do not have a free reign in the body. There still is an immune response but it is damped somewhat. It prevents some of the more damaging immune responses. This is a very useful property of the immune suppressants, but the drawback is that the original pathogen is not eliminated. If a perfect treatment existed, it would remove the pathogen from the body. If there is a pathogen to begin with. Some pathogens are nearly impossible to get rid of completely.

Inflammation is a natural byproduct of an immune response, but it is normally temporary as the threat is eliminated. We just have a more or less continues immune response with inflammation which is present for too long of a time, not accomplishing what it should and causing damage in the process.

Bacteria still have a survival of the fittest contest going on. There is only so much terrain for all of them to live in and they compete for space. In a best case scenario the good bacteria will hold most of the bad ones in check. When the bad ones get too dominant is when other problems develop. At least that is the premise I go on.

I think everyone does the complexity thing. I was completely overwhelmed with this disease and its seemingly complex presentations and bewildering number of theories and contradictions. It took a while to try string together a cohesive theory that satisfied my concept of "what makes sense". The not so funny part of it is that "what makes sense" to me, could be completely wrong with future discoveries and information.

My practical side says, since it is working for me, stick with it until it quits working. If it quits working, I will have to start all over again. I hope it does not come to that because I have no backup theory that I am satisfied with.

Time will tell me if the theory is correct or not. There are others using the same treatment methods. I have not heard from most of them, but the ones I have heard from are happy with the improvement they have had so far. One person has even reported some improvement with MS symptoms. Any improvement with MS is pretty rare. If a pathogen is causing the symptoms, they should continue to improve.

I just wish I had more solid study type evidence, but the scientists and researchers are going to have to provide that part of it. Until then all I have is anecdotes and probability to work with.

Dan
05-01-2009, 02:16 AM   #9
kello82
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ok im a little confused.

if the crohns and these other related diseases are caused by a normal immune system response to and unidentified bacteria, then where do genetics come into this?

i see the occurence of the "auto immune" diseases in my family as not a coincidence either.
my paternal grandfather (retrospectively) had crohns, and my dad has MS, and i have crohns.
05-01-2009, 02:56 AM   #10
drew_wymore
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To answer your question Kello, I think the line of thinking goes that there is some heredity/genetic link involving the immune system but the pathogen/bacterial connection Dan makes sets off the inappropriate response.
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05-01-2009, 03:04 AM   #11
kello82
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ok thanks. thats how ive kind of thought of it, but in some of the reading on here it seemed different and got confused.

i used some analogy that i thought showed it. something about a square and a rhombus lol, its on the 'what cause your crohns' thread.
dont remember the specifics, too fuzzy atm.
05-01-2009, 06:40 AM   #12
merrywidow
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drew_wymore said:
To answer your question Kello, I think the line of thinking goes that there is some heredity/genetic link
if crohs is hereidatary who did i get it from? no one in my family as it and most of them have no idea what crohns is anyway!
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05-01-2009, 07:21 AM   #13
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merrywidow said:
if crohs is hereidatary who did i get it from? no one in my family as it and most of them have no idea what crohns is anyway!
sharon x
I've read there is a 20% link to family. So that doesn't mean that there has to be anyone in your family history that passed down Crohns to you Merry. If there is a genetic link to auto immune diseases in general of which Crohns being one then there are increased odds of heredity playing a role.

Whatever is wrong with me, whether it turns out to be Crohns or my new working theory of immunoglobulin deficiency ... nobody in my family or in my family history going back at least 2 generations on both sides have either so who knows ...
05-01-2009, 07:28 AM   #14
AIjen
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I am the first in my family with autoimmune issues as well, although a much older sister was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis this month. I just happened to get it first. Like my husband likes to say: It's gotta start somewhere. And then I usually respond: So it might as well be with me, huh?
05-01-2009, 08:09 AM   #15
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My mother has schleraderma, also an auto-immune disease. When I initially went to my GP with constant D, he looked at my family medical history and said that I may have Crohn's because I was "genetically pre-disposed" to auto-immune diseases. He said not a lot is completely understood, but the diseases themselves are not hereditary, but your genetic make up makes you succeptible(sp?). He said it was like having all of the ingredients and just needing a catalyst. He said it is believed that environmental factors play a role as well, acting as the catalyst. At least, this is how I interpreted what he was telling me. It made sense to me.

When I was little I was eating a candy bar and half way through it I discovered that it was crawling with little white worms! I don't remember well the specifics of the incident, but i do remember having worms in my intestinal tract and having to take medicine to get rid of them. Although I was not diagnosed with Crohn's until I was 30, I have always thought that this incident was somehow related...my catalyst?

Something else I had heard was that babies born by c-section were more likely to develop Crohn's, a theory that is somehow tied to exposure to essential bacteria in the birth canal. I have no documentation to support this claim, it was something that was mentioned to be by a co-worker. I posted something about this on a thread once, but did not get too much response.

Sorry if all of this sounds like unrelated psycho babble...just sharing those random thoughts that go through my mind about how I may have ended up with this darn stinkin disease! I guess bottom line is that I do not really understand everything contained within this thread, but I definitely think bacteria plays a role...OK, I'll shut up now...
05-01-2009, 11:37 AM   #16
kello82
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ewwww shady that happened to me once!
i was eating a mini reeses pb cup and ate one bite, swallowed, then looked down and there was two of those kind of worms on the top of it. they werent near where i had taken a bite so i dont think i ate any but.....who knows.
ewww that was not a fun experience.
05-01-2009, 12:04 PM   #17
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Ewww. Mine was a Chunky Bar. I don't even know if they still make those. It was so gross...they were these little white maggot things. Yuck! It was a while before I could even eat chocolate again...
05-01-2009, 12:27 PM   #18
D Bergy
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Finding them in your stool is not a delightful experience either, but it is better than eating them. Yuk!

My sister was found eating a dead bird when she was real young. It still makes me quesy to think about it. It did not seem to harm her in any way.

Dan
05-01-2009, 01:29 PM   #19
pb4
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As time has gone by with having this disease (18yrs) there really hasn't been much that can gross me out anymore...except for some of the above posts LOL.

I know researchers say that although for aprox 20% of IBDers there is a genetic component involved while for the other aprox 80% there apparently isn't but I'm not just sure how exactly they came to that conclusion or those numbers either.

The way I look at it is, my mom didn't get sick with her UC until AFTER I got sick with my CD, so obviously mine was inherited from her yet I got sick first, meaning mine was triggered before hers was.

Who's to say that at some point (cuz they're not 100% sure on how IBD is passed and with skipping generations and such) everyone that now has an IBD didn't have a past relative that had it. There is absolutely no way anyone will know all their past relatives GI issues, especially since even talking about them in this day an age is still considered taboo. Not to mention, how many people have issues (maybe mild enough but still have them) and they hide them cuz of embarassment/shame even if they have another family member that is DX with an IBD.

Just my veiw
05-01-2009, 08:02 PM   #20
D Bergy
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The other factor is that the world we live in has changed rather dramatically from the world of our grand parents. We are exposed to many things that did not even exist 50 years ago. We eat far more refined foods, genetically altered foods, have far more vaccinations, and now are exposed to high frequencies from cell phones, cell towers, wireless internet connections, cordless phones, etc. We heat our foods in microwaves, which do change the properties of the food.

Any or non of these may contribute to health problems. It is basically an experiment on the human population without our consent.

Dan
05-01-2009, 09:01 PM   #21
fenway1971
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Dan -
Thanks for the post. I completely agree with your theory. Makes perfect sense. I also wonder if there is a link with allergies as I've posted elsewhere. Perhaps it's the body's way of fighting an allergy in your digestive track.

Anyhow, I'm finding the immunosuppressants working for me. I'm drinking the GI koolaid I guess. . .
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05-01-2009, 10:00 PM   #22
D Bergy
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Allergies are one of the most difficult things in the world to try figure out. I would like to know the how and why about them.

I have tried to figure them out and have read every theory under the sun, but I still do not have a clue if anyone really knows. If anyone does, I would like to hear it.

According to the pin prick test, I am allergic to ragweed. I have read that the pin prick test is flawed because it only accounts for skin reaction and not an internal reaction. I did not really believe that, but then my chiropractor tested me because she knows I am curious about alternative diagnosis/ treatment. She does a muscle test which I am extremely skeptical of. She determines by this questionable test that I am allergic to mold, not ragweed. She gives me homeopathic remedy for Mold and darn if it did not seem to work. It was late in the season and I could not test it as thoroughly as I wanted so I am still not convinced. I will this fall. If it works, in the worst of the season, I will really be confused.

LDN did not help my allergies. I was hoping it would.

I hate trying to figure out allergies, and I hate having them!

Dan
05-01-2009, 10:35 PM   #23
ladyB
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Bergy, I am sooo with you on the allergies....runny eyes, itchy eyes, sore throut, stuffy, but yet somehowrunny, nose.

I hate early spring and fall due to allergies!!!!

It is terrible cuz fall is my favorite time of the year! And unless I wear a mask I have a very hard time enjoying it.
05-01-2009, 11:07 PM   #24
pb4
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Crohn's disease has been around for over 100 yrs, Alfred the great was suspected of having CD....here's a list of some famous people with crohn's and ulcerative colitis...

http://organizedwisdom.com/Famous_People_with_Crohn's_Disease

05-02-2009, 06:22 PM   #25
D Bergy
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Claratin is my best friend in the Fall. I would like to find a way to be rid of allergies, without the years of shots.

I must not know many famous people because I only recognized a few names on the list. I can see why a president would have Crohn's. They age fast once in office from the stress.

Dan
05-03-2009, 09:25 PM   #26
fenway1971
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I was recently diagnosed with food allergies (milk and whey). There has to be a link...
05-04-2009, 12:08 AM   #27
Brando
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i always found fistulas in crohn's disease to be one of those greatly overlooked phenomenons that comes with the disease. The wikipedia defintion says that fistulas are abnormal connections or passageways between two epithelium-lined organs or vessels that normally do not connect. we all know this is not normal but the real question that i have yet to see anyone ask is why this happens.

if you want to talk occam's razor then to me the bacterial properties would seem to promote the easiest explanation of why fistulas occur. the bacteria invade the linings of the intestinal tract and once they "break through" they become opportunistic on other organs or other parts of the GI tract. it just doesn't make sense to me that the immune system would start attacking the intestines and create some kind of acute portal to another organ or another part of the GI tract and start attacking there unless it was attacking something that wasn't supposed to be there.
05-04-2009, 12:21 AM   #28
pb4
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Fistulas can happen with crohn's because with CD the inflammation can affect the many layers of the intestinal lining (it doesn't with UC and this is why with UC fistulas generally don't happen) fistulas can also be an issue for those with diverticulosis as well (and so can bowel perforations).

Not all CDers get fistulas and there are some CDers that are prone to them specifically.

05-04-2009, 03:32 AM   #29
BWS1982
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D Bergy said:
It is basically an experiment on the human population without our consent.

Dan
Brilliant point of view, I like this Dan. But who is the mad scientist pushing the buttons and turning the dials?

What Shady said about the immune system needing a "catalyst" from an environmental trigger of sorts is what I understand and believe, though, I cannot rule out the possibility that Crohns Disease is really a collection of yet-to-be discovered "sub-diseases" since there is so much irregularity and too many erratic properties and mysteries to align.

I always just tell people it is a lot like other personal characteristics: Genetics loads the gun, and the pulling of the trigger is environmental/conditional...although the recipe analogy is good too: all the ingredients are thrown in "just right" but you need the heat in the oven to get the specific result. The right pathogen/intruder is that heat.

PB4, I don't think Dan meant to infer that Crohns came about in the last 50 years, I think he was implying the frequency of occurrence has dramatically gone up recently, which is the case as far as anyone can tell, though, we can all only guess due to the official "label" emerging in 1932 (though prior documentations of IBD-like symptoms exist).
05-04-2009, 04:11 AM   #30
mrsc2008
 
D Bergy said:
I hope your body is not full of bad bacteria, but it could be.

Another weird thing about these autoimmune diseases in my family is that two out of my three children have them also, but not the same diseases. I suspect my third child will have Crohn's, as he has some minor symptoms already. They are all adults now, so they know what to watch for.

I have Crohn's,

My Daughter has Celiac Sprue.

My youngest son has Hidradenitis Supurrativa.

The genetics are unfortunately mine, but the diseases are different. This also leans me toward the immune dysfunction combined with pathogens causing various diseases. You would think they all would have Crohn's if it was strictly an immune system inheritance.

What are the odds of these three diseases occurring by coincidence? The common denominator seems to be the immune dysfunction and the variable likely the pathogen that is involved. If they do nothing to control bacteria, I think the odds are good they will develop other diseases as well.

Dan
I have a father with Parkinson's, a mother with R-Arthuritus & my little sister has Multiple Sclerosis... I get Crohn's... I have a ANA reading of 1400 (instead of >160).
The specialist refuses to aknowledge they are connected???

It's obvious to me!!!
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