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What If There Never Is a Cure for Crohn’s?

There are several questions that go through my mind repeatedly while living with Crohn's such as, "When is my next infusion?" and "Didn't I just pay that bill?" And, most commonly, "Will there ever be a cure for this disease?" 

The last question is obviously the most difficult to answer, and I must admit, most of the time my initial reaction is, "Of course there will be!"

Will there ever really be cure for Crohn's disease?

However, people have been suffering from this chronic disease for generations, which seemingly has no end. So why do I think there will be a cure? For starters, there have been leaps and bounds made in the treatment of Crohn's, especially over the last decade. 

Medications that were once unavailable or used for other diseases are now being used to treat Crohn's. This proves that research is being done and many eyes are on our disease. 

Crohn's research is always advancing

In 2021, a study done by Cornell University revealed that "patients with Crohn's disease have an overabundance of a type of gut bacteria called adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC), which promotes inflammation in the intestine."1

Since they know what this bacteria is and what it uses as a fuel source, they can now create treatment options to essentially cut off the food supply to the bacteria, stopping it in its tracks. (I am paraphrasing. You can read more about it the Cornell study – check out the references at the bottom of this article.)1

I have faith in the science

I firmly believe that the more studies done like that, that can pinpoint what is causing the disease, will eventually lead to a permanent cure rather than simply a treatment option.

They naysayers may be thinking, "But if they have come this far in their research without a cure, then this is as far as it will go, right?" Maybe. 

But, millions of dollars are raised every year and applied to the study of this disease, and maybe it will take someone who isn't even born yet to interpret this data in 20+ years and say, "Aha! This is what causes it, and this is how you treat it!" 

Science and technology discover and develop something new every day and I hold onto hope that one day it will lead to a cure for Crohn's.

Some believe there will never be a cure for Crohn's

I have also had conversations with people who politely disagree with me that there will be a cure one day, saying that scientists and doctors don't want to find a cure because sick people are what keeps them employed. The drug companies, hospitals, research labs, and doctors offices will all feel the financial pain if suddenly there isn't anyone with Crohn's disease to treat. 

But I disagree with this viewpoint, too. There are many diseases – chicken pox, measles, polio – that no longer exist, and doctors and pharmacists and drug companies continue doing their thing and making money. Patients will still need colonoscopies and there are still other needs for medication. Also, I would like to think that drug companies would strive to be the first company who provides the medication or the vaccine or whatever treatment it is that cures Crohn's.

Accepting there may never be a cure

But, what if there really is never a cure for Crohn's? That thought also crosses my mind, but I try not to dwell on it. As of now, there is no cure and I live my life like there never will be. 

I make the most out of every day, am grateful for the healthy moments, and weather through the sick ones. I have shifted my mindset to acceptance, making sure to take control over what I can, and let go of what I cannot.

What do you think? Do you feel there will be a cure some day, or is it just a matter of finding treatments instead?

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