What are cytokines?
Cytokines are typically helpful proteins in the body that regulate immune and inflammation responses. When the body is under threat from infection, cytokines are produced to send signals for help to other cells. They also help with clotting and spurring the immune system to adapt for future threats, making it stronger. But, overproduction of cytokines causes the chronic inflammation seen in Crohn’s.
Autophagy can also remove damaged cells and microbes before they release harmful substances that cause irritation of the bowels. It’s believed one impact of Crohn’s is confusion by the immune system of which microbes to attack. The immune system may be defending the body against helpful microbes by mistake.