Inflammatory Bowel Disease Is As Canadian As The Mounties

Crohn’s disease, which affects the large and small intestines, is even more common in Canada and affects about 234 per 100,000 people, with an incidence of 13.4 per 100,000 each year. By comparison, ulcerative colitis prevalence is 58 to 157 per 100,000 in Northern Europe and about 167 per 100,000 for an area of Minnesota. Crohn’s disease prevalence ranges from 27 to 48 per 100,000 in Northern Europe to 144 per 100,000 in an area of Minnesota. Some Third World nations and areas in tropical latitudes have still lower rates. Although the reasons for these differences remain unclear, the hygiene hypothesis may help explain the distribution in Canada, said Richard Fedorak, M.D., of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, a co-author. “If you live in an environment that’s too clean or too sterile as a child your intestines are not exposed to bacteria of the same types and numbers you would be exposed to in a tropical area,” he said. which is especially true for Canada because much of the country has cold winters with little bacterial activity in the soil. Then if the genetic triggers are present, “your intestine is not able to tolerate bacteria as you get older and starts to destroy itself,” he added. Supporting this speculation, the researchers discovered differences among provinces: Nova Scotia in the Maritimes consistently had the highest rates of ulcerative colitis (19.2 incidence and 247.9 prevalence per 100,000) and Crohn’s disease (20.2 incidence and 318.5 per 100,000), Following closely is Alberta, with ulcerative colitis incidence of 11.0 and prevalence of 185.0 per 100,000 and Crohn’s disease incidence of 16.5 and prevalence of 283.0 per 100,000, and Manitoba had likewise high rates of ulcerative colitis (15.4 incidence and 248.6 prevalence per 100,000) and Crohn’s disease (15.4 incidence and 271.4 prevalence per 100,000); Whereas British Columbia, on the west coast, consistently had much lower rates of both ulcerative colitis (9.9 incidence and 162.1 prevalence per 100,000) and Crohn’s disease (8.8 incidence and 160.7 prevalence per 100,000). British Columbia proved to be an outlier, particularly for Crohn’s disease perhaps because of its milder winters, more precipitation, and “because its population ethnic make-up is somewhat different from the rest of Canada,” the researchers wrote. Much of British Columbia’s immigration in the past 20 years has been from Asia, they said. “Asians are known to have less [inflammatory bowel disease] than Caucasians,” perhaps because of genetics, less sterile conditions during childhood, or other environmental factors. Males and females generally had similar rates of ulcerative colitis though significantly more females had Crohn’s disease (1.31 ratio, 95% CI 1.23-1.40). Notably, though, the prevalence of Crohn’s disease was significantly greater in boys than girls (prevalence 49.6 versus 43.8 per 100,000, P=0.0001). After adjusting for age, gender, and province, the prevalence of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease was slightly more common in urban areas (urban-to-rural ratio 1.13 (P=0.01) and 1.05 (P-value not significant), respectively).

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The Great Canadian Fart Survey

But retaining gas may cause harm. Dr. Wynne-Jones a New Zealand physician claims being polite results in herniations of the bowel (diverticulosis) due to constant pressure from the gas. He advises patients to pass flatus whenever necessary. But he makes no mention of whether he’s ever invited a second time to dinner parties. How much flatus collects in the bowel depends on the type of bacteria present, the speed at which gas reaches the rectum and the amount of undigested carbohydrate in the lower bowel. Genetics plays a role. If your Mother produces methane gas there’s a good chance her children will also manufacture it. A lighted match once placed near the trowsers of a friend expelling gas turned royal blue due to methane gas. But please don’t try this experiment. Novartis, the company behind this study, believes it has a flatus buster called Gas-X (simethicone). This is a silicone-based substance included as an antifoaming agent in many other medications for the release of excess gas and digestion. So it’s nothing new.



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