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Stress

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Stress and Crohn's Disease


Crohn's Disease is currently thought to be due to an interaction between:
Genetic Background
Dysfunction of the Immune System
Environment

Stress can either Affect or be Affected by each of these three causal factors. The role of Psychological Factors, including Stress, have often been largely overlooked, or their role misunderstood in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Crohn's as a Psychosomatic Illness?

Historically, Crohn's Disease was largely thought to be a Psychosomatic Disease. Many Physicians and Psychologists believed that Crohn's Patients were "Mentally" responsible for their own Symptoms.

Later, the Scientific Methods behind the concept of Psychosomatic Crohn's was questioned and discounted.

Furthermore, the discovery and continued validation of Genetic Components responsible for Crohn's Disease put the concept of Crohn's as a Psychosomatic Illness in the background.

Current Viewpoint: Crohn's Disease has a Psychological Component

While the Historical View of Crohn's being a wholly Psychosomatic Condition has been largely dismissed, new Research into the Biochemical and Genetic Pathways affecting Crohn's has brought the idea of a Psychological Component in Crohn's Disease Activity Full Circle.

The Complicated Nature of Crohn's Disease Invites many Possible Triggers, Including Stress


Whether Stress Exacerbates Crohn's Symptoms is dependent on many factors and is Highly Individual. The Stress Component is added to an already existing background which includes the "Big Three" (Genes, Immune Function, Environment). To Further Complicate things, this Stress Component is multifactorial and includes things like:
Physical Stress (Lack of Sleep, poor Nutrition, etc)
Perceived Psychological Stress - The "Perceived" Stress is Highly Individual in that what may be a highly Stressful situation for one person may not be Perceived as a Stressor for Another.

How does Stress cause Physical Effects in Crohn's Disease?

Many Crohn's Patients report there is a "Stress" component to their Disease Activity, or Flare. This Stressor - "Flare" relationship may be nonspecific, causative, or serve to prolong or exacerbate disease Activity.

References


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08-27-2014, 02:41 AM   #1
gotumtum
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: West Coast, New Zealand
I thought it had been established that the immune system is affected by stress?
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