Newswise — An estimated 3.1 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis causing debilitating symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, blood in stool and more. 

While diet and stress have long been suspected as triggering IBD, the exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease has been unknown – that is until now. 

Scientists in the UK say they found a “weak spot” in our DNA that is present in 95% of people with the disease.

The gene controls the suite of inflammatory chemicals the macrophages release, and some people are born with a version that makes their body prone to responding excessively. The end result – immune cells go haywire and drive excessive inflammation in the bowels.

Now the team is looking at drugs that already exist that seem to reverse the disease in laboratory experiments and are now aiming for human trials potentially putting an end to IBD. 

For more information or an interview about this exciting new research, IBD experts at Hackensack Meridian Health are available for comment by emailing [email protected].