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Chronic bloody diarrhea with ulcers in the intestines and colon is often diagnosed as Crohn's disease. Several publications show that this horrible disease can be caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) that can be cured by taking a combination of two antibiotics called rifabutin and clarithromycin.

Most gastroenterologists think that Crohn's disease is caused by a person's immunity attacking his own intestinal linings, so they treat it with drugs that suppress immunity and shorten life. Patients never improve, suffer repeated hospitalizations, multiple surgeries and often eventually die of complications of their disease.

Eighteen year ago, stomach ulcers were also incurable and were believed to be autoimmune. Barry Marshall was ridiculed by gastroenterologists for being foolish enough to claim that he had found a bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. Today, stomach ulcers can be cured with a one-week course of antibiotics. Stomach ulcers in humans are caused by Helicobacter, a bacterium that causes the same condition in many different animals.

Now it appears that Crohn's disease may be caused by MAP which causes intestinal swelling and ulcers in many animals including monkeys and humans. Like Helicobacter, MAP can be found in humans who have no symptoms. Fifty percent of cows in North American are infected with MAP, and many shed MAP in their milk, even though they have no symptoms whatever.

MAP has been found in a much higher percentage of the intestines of people with Crohn's disease than in people without it. No dependable blood test is available to find the germ and most species of MAP cannot be killed by drugs that kill tuberculosis. However, a combination of two readily available antibiotics called rifabutin and clarithromycin, that kill MAP, have been shown to cure Crohn's disease in animals and they should be effective in humans also.

J Hermon-Taylor, TJ Bull, JM Sheridan, J Cheng, ML Stellakis, N Sumar. The Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. June 2000; Volume 14, Issue 6: 521-539

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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