> Want to put that in plain English, Dale?
I'm sorry, I started reading those abstracts on Crohn's disease, and I
thought I was an MD for a minute there ;)
What I meant was that Crohn's disease, along with all sorts of other
mysterious ailments that involve inflammation (arthritis, lupus, rhumatic
fever) is probably caused by the bodies immune system erroneously
recognizing parts of ones own body as "foreign", and attacking those parts.
You know, the immune system is set on a hair trigger, honed by millions of
years defending the body against weird and awful animal parasites, whose
tissue is very much like that of the host. Microorganisms might be
involved in various indirect ways: 1) antigens produced by the organism
mimic the hosts body, and so trigger an attack on the hosts own body, 2) the
altered environment caused by the inflammation produces a niche for the
organism which might cause additional problems, and 3) microorganisms
produce antigens that can trigger an allergic response out of proportion to
the actual threat.
I don't claim to be an expert in immunology, but it is clear enough this is
a complicated and murky subject. The only consistent cause (and treatment)
for Crohn's disease in the literature seems to be immunological.
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