Crohn's Disease: The Complete Guide to Medical Management

Gary R. Lichtenstein, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF

Chapter 7: Disease Modifiers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (continued)

Jaime A. Oviedo, MD; Francis A. Farraye, MD, MSc, FACP, FACG

The first year of life is considered a crucial period for immune system maturation and development of tolerance. Exposure to specific antigens during early childhood is likely to lead to immune tolerance and might, at least in part, dictate the responses to antigens that are presumably involved in the pathogenesis of IBD.1 Based on these concepts, the influence of early life events such as mode of feeding, household hygiene, and perinatal infections on the development of IBD has been examined. Evidence of a possible inverse association between breastfeeding and IBD remains controversial…