Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) may affect people of all genders at any time throughout their lives. Knowing what causes this painful disorder may help you avoid it. Though the specific causes of IBD are still not certain, below is a list of common factors that may contribute to your IBD diagnosis:
Genetic Research on Causes
Scientists and physicians have discovered that 10-20% of people suffering from different kinds of IBD have this disease in their family medical background. This means that people who are born to families wherein some members have already been diagnosed with IBD, have a 10% chance of contracting the disorder at some point in their lives as well.
Some people are genetically pre-disposed to IBD. This means no matter what your lifestyle or personal medical background, you will develop IBD simply because you were born to develop IBD or were born more susceptible to IBD. In some ways, destiny seems to play a part in contracting this disorder because of the genes you were born with.
Research has also pointed to race and ethnicity as a contributing factor to the development of IBD, where genes that cause IBD are more prolific. Most IBD cases occur in Caucasians and people of Jewish decent. This elaborates on the theory of genetics as one of the main causes of IBD, for these differences occur across different geographical locations and time spans.
Other Causes of Inflammation
Inflammation is caused when the body tries to defend itself against harmful invaders, irritants and other particles. One of the factors that contribute to inflammation is stress. In order to combat this type of inflammation, you should learn to manage your stress. Simple activities such as breathing exercises, yoga or even just listening to relaxing music or going to the spa will help lower your stress levels. Lack of exercise also contributes to inflammation, especially in people who are overweight or enjoy stuffing themselves full at every meal. It has been shown that regular exercise lowers the markers of inflammation in the human body, as long as exercise is carried out correctly.
If you enjoy exercising, don’t worry. Inflammation due to exercise only presents itself to people who engage in daily chronic cardio workouts or are training for a marathon or other serious sport events. Going to the gym every now and then will not increase your inflammation levels. If you exercise regularly, just be sure to follow a good workout routine and allow yourself plenty of recovery time between acute activities.
Lastly, one more factor that contributes to inflammation is a person’s diet. Some foods trigger inflammation in certain people and some foods reduce inflammation. Watching what you eat and following a proper diet is therefore very important, especially if you are born into a family with a medical history of IBD.
A regular anti-inflammatory diet entails the dieter to consume an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, stay away from canned and processed foods, stay away from fast food and junk food and eat a large variety of healthy meals. The number of calories consumed each day should be regulated as well, to make sure that you do not over-eat or under-eat. Other food items that you should include in your diet are whole grains such as wheat and brown rice, lean chicken, fish, nuts and spices such as ginger and curry. Food that you should avoid on an anti-inflammatory diet are food items rich in refined carbohydrates, saturated and trans fats, full-fat dairy products and red meat.