These Commonly Used Pills May Triple Risk of Crohn’s Disease in Women
Crohn’s disease is an incurable, inflammatory disease affecting the lining of the digestive system. Genetics predispose a person towards Crohn’s disease, and genetic predisposition plus use of birth control pills nearly triples the risk.
Is Crohn’s disease caused by oral contraceptives?
No, it is not, Dr. Hamed Khalili, a Harvard gastroenterologist, states firmly. It is a combination of oral contraceptive use plus the genetic susceptibility to Crohn’s disease.
A debilitating disease
Crohn’s disease is very debilitating, leading to nutritional deficits, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. Crohn’s disease can develop at any time, but the most common ages of onset are between 16 and 30. The treatment for Crohn’s involves anti-inflammatory medication for symptoms.
A huge increase in Crohn’s disease
Research posits that the incredible increase in Crohn’s sufferers since the 1960’s is directly related to the introduction of birth control pills at that time. A study of 230,000 women in the United States discovered that those using the pill for more than five years had a 300 percent more likelihood of developing Crohn’s disease than those who did not use oral contraceptives.
Why the increase?
Dr. Kahlili reported that oral contraceptives do not directly cause Crohn’s disease, but beneficial gut flora is reduced, and the synthetic hormones in the pills contribute to a thinning of the gut lining. The thinning makes it more difficult to retain digestive waste. A porous gut lining leads to a slight leak of toxic particles, resulting in the body’s mustering of inflammatory response. With genetic vulnerability to inflammatory illness, the result is Crohn’s disease.