Heredity and Crohn's

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 9/29/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I have read alot about Crohn's and my head starts spinning with all the differing opinions on what causes our disease.  I've heard about the probability of it being hereditary, but I am the only in my extended family to have anything like Crohn's.  I am the mother of 2 teenage boys, and literally freak inside if they have one d episode.  I am sooo scared that this is something I could pass down to my children!!  Is anyone else the only one in their family to have this "gift" (haha)?  Does anyone know statistics on heredity and Crohn's? 
diagnosed CD '03 after suffering for 10 yrs.
re-section surgery '05, Chronic Pancreas problems, joint and muscle issues (from Remicade)
meds been on-Asacol, Pentasa, Lialda, Remicade, Humira, 6-MP, Methotrexate, Rowasa, Prednisone, to many pain meds to list
Currently on-Cimzia, Cymbalta, and Klonopin(RLS)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 9/29/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
So far I'm the only one in my family to have it. I guess I'm the lucky one huh? eyes

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/29/2008 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I am the youngest child of 5 and I am the only one of my siblings who has it. I also have no close relatives who have it either. Sometimes one person in a family might have one autoimmune disease like Crohns and another person might have Rheumatoid Arthritis or another autoimmune disease.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 9/29/2008 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I am adopted so I have no idea what family members I may have with Crohn's, but my biggest fear is for my 3 children, I panic anytime they say that their tummy hurts...I just pray that its only me and never them...

currently taking

pentasa, hyocosamine, zofran, acphix and started Remicade back in May

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 9/29/2008 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I have crohn's and my mom has UC, I got sick with my CD in my early 20's, my mom didn't get sick with her UC until after I got sick first, she was in her mid 60's...IBD is definitely hereditary, they just aren't sure yet how it's passed like the way they know with cystic fibrosis for example.

But researchers do estimate that if one parent has an IBD there is a 10- to 15- fold increased risk their offspring will develop an IBD (either CD or UC) compared with those who do not have a parent with IBD.

Smoking (including second-hand smoke) is one KNOWN trigger for crohn's disease in particular.

It's also estimated that with identical twins, if one twin has CD there is a 40-60% chance the other twin will also have the disease....there are also extream cases of familial IBD where nearly every member of a family suffers from the condition.

Also, check out this link from the CCFC...

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/29/2008 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes it can be heriditary, although they do not actually know.  My Father and I both have it Crohn's,  However there are many families who only have one person afflicted.  Please don't worry, you'll drive your self crazy!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 9/29/2008 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
i only know of my maternal grandfather having CD. it skipped his 3 kids. my sister doesnt have it, her 2 daughters dont have it, and nor does my identical twin brother (the healthiest person i know).
Crazy Harry

Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/29/2008 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm the only one in my family to have it. We asked everyone in the family and if anyone remember any family member having any stomach issues, nothing. Just me.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 9/29/2008 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I got the gift! I don't know about my extended family on my mother's side but my brother from the same mother has it too. HOORAY. Thanks ma.
Crohn's (diagnosed in 2006 and currently in remission), severe migraines, Seborrheic Derm., Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (1994), chronic pain, ulcers/GERD and possibly Fibromyalgia? Medications: Nexium, Pentasa, Cymbalta, Xysal, Yaz, Percocet and Vicodin as needed, Flintstone Vitamins (my favorite part!), calcium and magnesium supplements, vitamin D once weekly. I follow a low fiber, low residue diet.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 9/29/2008 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I am the only one in my family with Crohn's, though most everyone is lactose intolerant and has a sensitive stomach. My husband has relatives on both his mother and father's side with Crohn's. I am Jewish, he's half, but he has both Jewish and non-Jewish relatives with Crohn's.

This is from the NIH:

"There appears to be a risk for inheriting Crohn's disease, especially in families of Jewish ancestry.

Children who have one parent with Crohn's disease have a 7 to 9 percent lifetime risk of developing the condition. They also have a 10 percent chance to develop some form of inflammatory bowel disease. When both parents have inflammatory bowel disease, the risk for their children to develop Crohn's disease is 35 percent."

Probably if you are Jewish or of northern European descent, the chances are higher than stated above since the overall probability is higher. I have seen other numbers that were higher (~20-30% for one parent and 50% for two) so I guess it depends on the study. But it's definitely not 100%, or even close, so you should try not to worry.
July 2007 Drug-Induced Liver Injury
January 2008 Crohn's Ileitis
Currently trying...
Entocort, Enteral Nutrition, Omega-3 (Flax Oil and Fish Oil), VSL#3, Vitamin E

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 246
   Posted 9/30/2008 4:51 AM (GMT -6)   
all my close family doesn't have it but some distant cousin of my dad has it apprantly,so what you think the chances of my kids hafing crohns if i have crohns and my bf's mum has it?
dx 17 aug 2007
21 yrs old
13 dec 2007 resection/temp illeostomy 14 feb 2008 temp illeostomy reversed 
150mg azamun
3000mg pentasa

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 9/30/2008 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I am the only one in my family who is diagnosed with Crohns. I have a cousin who has UC. There is little doubt in my mind that my mom also has Crohns and it is simply not diagnosed. My brother also has issues with either lactose intolerance or IBS. He completely controls his with diet…lucky him J

I do fear that my daughter has Crohns. She has similar symptoms to mine.

35/f   proud single mom of 2

Diagnosed with GERD/Acid Reflex 2002

Diagnosed with IBS 2007

Diagnosed with UC, then Crohn’s 2008

Current medications: Endcort 3mg 2X daily, Asacol 400mg 3 tablets 2X daily, Prilosec 20 mg 2X daily, Probiotics, Calcuim/Mag/Vit.D. garlic and Vit. C 500mg daily

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 9/30/2008 1:17 PM (GMT -6)   
tsitodawg said...
. My late grandmother from the same side suffered from Ulcerative Colitis, but we now feel that it was more than likely Crohn's disease.

Why do you all feel that it was more likely crohn's and not UC that your grandmother suffered with? Just curious because they are both an mom has UC and I have CD, we're the only ones (so far) in my family that have an IBD.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 224
   Posted 9/30/2008 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I have heard that Crohns is genetic. That if you have it everyone in your family has the gene but that some people's disease is never "triggered". That there are many different triggers but some peoples immune systems are strong enough to never be effected by the triggers like, bacterial infections. I was diagnosed after a MILD bacterial infection, the infection had cleared up completely and then, two months later, BAM I HAVE CROHNS.
--My mothers mother has Crohns. My "fathers" mother has Crohns Disease(Died recently due to complications of Crohns and cancer). One of my moms brothers has it. My older sister AND older brother have it also. Although I do have a twin sister who DOES NOT have it. and there is no telling how many members if our family are un-diagnosed. Those are only the diagnosed ones.
It is easy for me to believe the genetic/"trigger" theory because, I have a twin sister, who has grown up with me, right by my side. If i got into something so did she. If i ate something, so did she. Though, she has never had bad medical problems and barely ever gets even the flu or a cold.
Who really knows what causes this illness?-----
 "The Lord wont give me more than I can handle,i just wish he didnt trust me so much!"
  "let people be people before they are patients"

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 9/30/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Based on my limited experiences, I believe there are three components to Crohn's; I'm sure two of them will be controversial to say the least.

1) Presence of an organism or organisms, possibly including MAP.

2) Genetics. There are a whole pile of genes that have been correlated with Crohn's, including some that are correlated with faulty bacterial resistance. The differences in severity among individuals may be attributable largely to the type and number of these genes.

3) Gut environment. There are a number of studies pointing towards "bad" food and an increased incidence of Crohn's. Based on the Paleolithic diet (whether one wishes to believe it or not), humans are simply not constructed to consume large quantities of carbohydrates.

With too many carbs and the presence of bacterial overgrowth in the gut- possibly including ulceration and colonization with MAP- combined with bad genes, one may get Crohn's. It's clear that no two components alone can do it, or the incidence would be much higher. I suspect that due to industrial-scale milk production (leading to the pooling of lactate from many hundreds of cows to make milk) has increased the spread of the putative causative organism, and the increase in inexpensive carbohydrates (plus the whole low-fat diet nonsense) has lead to an increase in bad gastric environments.

Fixing any one of the three may lead to a remission, or possibly a cure. The Selby protocol (involving multiple years of nasty anti-tuberculosis drugs) works on #1, inducing remission some 95% of the time- although many relapse because they finish the course of drugs, the organism is either not gone or is re-introduced, and the bad gut environment is still present.

The genetics issue has been tackled by stem cell modalities, indicating that "fresh" genes that *are* capable of handling whatever bacterial problems are present will work. It is dose-dependent, meaning it is more than just a coincidence.

Lastly, if the gastric environment is changed, the patient may go into remission or (by some accounts) even be "cured" (whatever that means with Crohn's). See also: diets such as Gottschall (The Specific Carbohydrate Diet), Lutz (Life Without Bread), and The Maker's Diet, as well as Atkins' low-carb diet. Such an approach is similar to antibiotic therapies in that it can take 2-3 years to shut out the disease, and there's no guarantee it won't recur once the patient goes back to their old ways.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 9/30/2008 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I have 3 relatives on my mom's side diagnosed with CD and a few with suspected cases of it.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/1/2008 1:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with Crohn's in January after suffering my whole life with symptoms.  No one in my family was known to have it but my great grandfather died of a bowel obstruction at a very young age.  My uncle recently had a bowel obstruction so I wonder, even though he did not receive an official diagnosis, if he may have it also.  He has always had stomach problems like me.  I wonder how many people had Crohn's and did not know it before all the diagnostic tools were available. 
Diagnosed with Crohn's 2008
Have had symptoms my whole life...always horrible stomach pain and bathroom "issues" for as long as I can remember!
Disease is moderate but flares can make my life miserable while they last...
Stress and lack of sleep make my Crohn's unbearable also...
Exercise and a healthy diet have no effect on my Crohn's...
Medication: Pentasa...must take Vitamin D and getting ready to start IV Iron Therapy due to low iron count due to Crohn's.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 10/1/2008 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
tsitodawg said...
For the majority of my late grandmother's life, she suffered from bowel problems and intestinal bleeding. As most people know, Crohn's is a disease that has really been a hard disease to diagnose and back in the day was not a disease that was talked much about. There are a lot of crohnies on this board and that I have met, that have had crohn's disease for a long time but were misdiagnosed for many years with I.B.S. or ulcerative colitis. In my own opinion, I think that this is because there was so little known about crohns 30-40 years ago and it was easier for the doctors to just pass it off of ulcerative colitis or I.B.S. She also suffered from terrible arthritis that just crippled her body and at the age of 40, she looked like she was 80. She died at the age of 63 years old from a heart attack, but she had also had colon cancer, breast cancer, and other ailments that she chose not to treat. I was only 8 years old when she died, but remember how skinny and frail she was.

But even if she had UC instead of CD she could have still gone through all that she went through...colon cancer risks increase slightly the longer the colon is inflamed from either CD or UC...I'm just not sure what it is that makes you think it was probably CD rather than UC that your GM had, the symptoms are practically identical including the extra intestinal manifestations.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 10/1/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Besides the hereditary factor it's important to look at how the immune system is involved as well...The lack of the XBP1 gene disables the normal communication between intestinal epithelial cells and gut bacteria, resulting in dysfunctional immune response and disease.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 10/2/2008 1:56 AM (GMT -6)   

Up to now I thought I am the only one in the family with Crohns, but the last couple of days my cousin who is 29, is being tested for Crohns as well.  Our grandmother always suffered with bowel and stomach problems, but never received an official diagnosis, and died at the age of 84 from old age...  My mother though never had any problems and has the healthiest stomach and bowels in the world (I envy her!)

My biggest fear is for my children, aged 12 and 8.  I had my first symptoms at the age of 25, I can't imagine having to go to school and sit in classrooms with my symptoms...  Our pediatrician knows about my Crohns though, and always keeps a very close eye on both of them.





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