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Genetics and IBD – The role of genetics in IBD

Genetics and IBD

Genetics and IBD have been linked in research studies.  A number of genes are associated with the development and risk of Crohn’s and/or Colitis.  Certain triggers interact and cause the disease to manifest.  However, although the genes have been identified certain therapies or outlook for families with IBD have not been developed.

IBD and genetics

While there is no known cause for Crohn’s or colitis, genetics offer insight into the differences in severity and symptoms.  Genetics and IBD are linked through environmental triggers that cause the immune system to not function properly.

Genetic studies and mouse models have emphasized the role of genetic predispositions and how they affect interactions with microbial and environmental factors. (1)


Genetic link in IBD and other autoimmune diseases

Several of the genes that are identified to have a relation with inflammatory bowel disease are involved in protecting the integrity of the gut wall.  Although dozens of genes have been identified to have a connection to Crohn’s and Colitis, researchers don’t completely understand the role of these genes in the disease.  As a result, the correlation between genetics and IBD has not led to newer treatment or cures.

The major genes associated with IBD are  NOD2ATG16L1IL23R, and IRGM.  Studies not only identify the genes but also the differing response in enzyme and protein production.  

Integrins are a type of protein that play a role in increased risk of IBD.  These proteins are responsible for interactions between cells from the immune system and the rest of the body.  Genetic variants that increase the risk of developing Crohn’s or Colitis, show an increased expression of certain integrins in response to immune stimulation.



Can a genetic test diagnose Crohn’s or Colitis?

Typically, your gi or team of doctors use a thorough process to diagnose Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Doctors evaluate medical and family history, as well intestinal imaging and blood work.  However, as of yet there is not a genetic test that can tell whether or not you have or will develop IBD.

IBD and genetics overview

Although genetics play a role in autoimmune disease, there are many other risk factors to consider.  For instance, the most important is environmental toxins and triggers.  Exposure to certain items may increase the risk of developing Crohn’s or Colitis.  The genes linked in IBD do not have an identified role that helps identify disease or treatment sooner.  As a result, it is important to remember that lifestyle determines whether the genetic predisposition affects health.  Everyday choices, stress management and other factors can contribute to the role identified in IBD and genetics.

2018-06-01T18:41:26+00:00By |1 Comment

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  1. […] series of factors that promote it.  Factors that influence the higher than expected IBD rates are: genetics, antibiotics, exposure to environmental toxins, diet, poor gut flora, and immune […]

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