Ulcerative colitis is a chronic intestinal disease, which so far has been considered as not curable. However, there are medication [...]
Ulcerative colitis: The causes of chronic bowel disease
Ulcerative colitis appears to have several reasons. Numerous studies provide indications of what causes the onset of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, ulcerative colitis has not yet been completely researched. In addition to the genes, many other factors play a role.
Ulcerative colitis leads to severe inflammation of the intestine. The immune system can no longer distinguish correctly between healthy and harmful bacteria. As a result, the body’s own defence system reacts unusually violently to bacteria in the intestinal mucosa.A single and specific cause of ulcerative colitis does not seem to exist. As with Crohn’s disease – also a chronic inflammatory bowel disease – studies suggest that a combination of several circumstances always leads to the outbreak of the disease1.
Ulcerative colitis: Different causes play together
According to current knowledge, however, all these factors cannot be considered as the sole cause of ulcerative colitis. The outbreak of the disease is in all probability influenced by a complex interaction of various environmental factors, genetic predisposition and the state of the intestinal flora.
Since everything influences each other, the actual cause of ulcerative colitis is difficult to determine. For example, someone living in the country obviously has a lower risk of developing the disease. This may be due to the fact that people there have more contact with nature and therefore more bacteria. This in turn increases the diversity of intestinal bacteria. It also makes the immune system more skilled at reacting to a variety of external influences.
On the other hand, excessively sterile environments – especially in children – prevent the development of a diverse microbiome. Early or frequent use of antibiotics can also lead to the death of important bacteria in the intestine and a lasting disturbance of the balance. Since the intestinal flora influences and regulates the immune system, an imbalance in the intestine can lead to disorders of the immune system.
Intestinal care with and without ulcerative colitis
There is a connection between chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases and the condition of the intestinal flora. This has already been proven by studies2. Persons suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease almost always show an imbalance of the intestinal flora. However, what was there first – the disturbed intestinal flora or the disease – has not been clarified beyond doubt.
Whether with a diagnosed illness or in good health, it never hurts to know what is going on in one’s own bowel. BIOMES offers with INTEST.pro a test kit with which you can take a stool sample yourself and send it in for analysis. The scientists of BIOMES evaluate your sample according to modern biotechnological procedures with high-throughput sequencing. In the personal and detailed evaluation you will learn exactly which bacteria are present in your intestine and which are possibly missing. With the very personal recommendations for action, you can then specifically strengthen the bacterial diversity in your intestine.
1. Eisenstein M. Biology: A slow-motion epidemic. Nature. 2016:540, S98–9. https://www.nature.com/articles/540S98a
2. Ni J, Wu GD, Albenberg L, Tomov VT. Gut microbiota and IBD: causation or correlation? Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 ;14:573–84. https://www.nature.com/articles/540S98a