Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract, which affects various parts of the gastrointestinal system.
Crohn's Disease causes symptoms such as stomach aches, diarrhea, and weight loss – in severe cases fistulas, or strictures in the intestines.
No one knows what causes Crohn's Disease, and doctors today do not rule out an EV infection in Crohn's patients.
The Digestive Tract
A new 2013 Swedish study published from the International Journal of Clinical and Translational Gastoenterology showed that all children (100%) with Crohn's disease, tested positive for Enterovirus infections in the intestinal tract.
The link between Crohn's Disease and Enteroviruses has not been previously established, but it makes sense, as EV is known to infect the GI tract. To read more about the Swedish study press here.
The Swedish research team was established to investigate the role between enteroviruses and Crohn's disease because these viruses are well known to infect the intestinal mucous lining, and the common gene expression found among the Crohn's patients is recently linked to a common defense mechanism of RNA viruses.
The Swedish study showed significant amounts of enteroviruses in the intestines of all of the children with Crohn´s disease, whereas the control group had minimal amounts of enteroviruses in their intestines, or none at all.
Mutations in more than 140 genes have been shown to be associated with Crohn's, but this genetic connection is not a sufficient explanation.
Viral Replication alone can cause Gene Expressions.
Recent research has shown that some of the genes linked to Crohn's are important defense mechanisms against RNA viruses, such as Enteroviruses.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that causes abdominal pain, bloating, mucous in stools, irregular bowel habits, and alternating diarrhea and constipation.
IBS is the most common GI disorder in the U.S., affecting 30 million people, with no known causes.
Since IBS doesn't include symptoms like fatigue and headaches, patients are rarely checked for an Enterovirus infection. IBS will be the most common diagnosis after other GI disorders are ruled out.
The amount of Enterovirus that is in stomach, can dictate severity of symptoms.