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.
The cause of Crohn's disease , according to the National Institutes of Health, is still a mystery. There are many theories but none has been definitively proven.
Some researchers are wondering if diet may play a role in this disease. It's a notion that would seem to make some sense - after all, the job of the digestive system is to interact with the outside world by breaking down and absorbing food all day. Plenty of other factors we encounter in our environment can cause diseases. Why couldn't food play a role?
According to researchers who looked at this issue in the journal Gut last fall, Crohn's disease - a type of inflammatory bowel disease - is less common in underdeveloped countries (where people eat much differently than we do in the United States). As Japan has adopted a more Western diet, the number of cases of Crohn's disease has risen markedly.
The researchers looked at whether certain food components could play some role in the development of Crohn's di...
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