FROM OUR EXPERTS
Prognosis The outlook for Crohn's disease varies widely. Crohn's disease can range from being benign (such as when limited Crohn's disease occurs only around the anus in older people) or it can be very severe. At the extreme end, some patients may experience only one episode and others suffer continuously. About 13 - 20% of patients have chronic Crohns disease. Although recurrences tend to be normal, disease-free periods can last for years or decades in some patients. Although Crohn's disease cannot be cured even with surgery, treatments are now available that can offer significant help to most patients. Crohn's disease is rarely a direct cause of death, and most people can live a normal lifespan with this condition.
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If the side effects alone weren't enough, there is now even more reason not to take antibiotics unless they are needed. The overuse of antibiotics has been linked to an increase in antibiotic resistance and now to an increase in IBD , specifically Crohn's disease ( 1 , 2 ).
It isn't completely clear how the long term use of certain antibiotics can increase the risk for Crohn's disease but it may be due to the imbalance of gut bacteria that it can cause. Our guts have a host of bacteria that are present normally. These "healthy bacteria" support functions from digestion to immune response in the GI tract. Unfortunately when we bombard the body with antibiotics they don't differentiate between what bacteria they are killing and often wipe out the good along with the bad. Especially when the antibiotics are used for a long time period.
This is not to say that antibiotics are harmful in and of themselves. They have provided a cure to infections that have been deadly in the past....
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