The causes of relapse in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are largely unknown. This paper reviews the epidemiological and clinical data on how medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, estrogens and antibiotics), lifestyle factors (smoking, psychological stress, diet and air pollution) may precipitate clinical relapses and recurrence. Potential biological mechanisms include: increasing thrombotic tendency, imbalances in prostaglandin synthesis, alterations in the composition of gut microbiota, and mucosal damage causing increased permeability.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Precipitating factors