Does anyone live a productive and active lifestyle with CD?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 5/21/2010 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed this past March right in the middle of working on my Master's and I've only read posts on how people have had to give up their careers because of crohns. Also, I am a avid golfer who plays maybe 4 times a month and hopes to compete in local tournaments. Is there any hope for us that have CD to live a normal life?

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 5/21/2010 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I think I lead a normal life. Most people would have no idea I deal with Crohns - matter of fact, when I had my resection in February, many people told me they didn't realize I had it at all.

I was diagnosed my 2nd year of graduate school so I was pretty sick for awhile and got a semester behind but great drugs have worked wonders for me. Remicade bought me 2 years absolutely symptom free. I flared up, was sick for a few months (was hospitalized twice but outside of those two times, I worked FT and continued my normal activities for the most part - though I wasn't eating solid foods and a bit tired). Humira was next, I got another 2 years absolutely symptom free. I hit another flare, missed a few days of work but mostly took pain meds and did my normal activities. Ended up with a resection, which is when most of the people in my life learned about my disease, and I'm back to mostly symptom free!

I find times when I am especially tired but when those drugs are working wonders, no one would ever guess I had Crohns.

Keep in mine that there are many out there with more mild cases. I know that when I was symptom free, I rarely checked this site. I race here in the midst of crisis or when I'm hurting. I think that's the case for most people - you may see a more extreme on message boards as those without much symptoms aren't focusing as much on their illness.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/21/2010 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes definetly! I have been diagnosed nearly 35 years. I have been at the same job for over 20 years, married, 3 grown adult daughters, and 5 1/2 grandbabies. I have had a few bumps in the road, but for the most part been able to live my life. Most important thing to remember in my eyes at least, is that once you get your disease under control, it is always important to STAY on your maintenance meds at all times, not only when you are sick. You have to remember we have a chronic and incurable bowel disease, and it must be treated at all times. Hope that helps some.

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/21/2010 1:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I would have to agree... I have been DX since 1998 and I feel I live a fairly normal life... I work full time, working on my Master's Degree right now and have four children plus an extra teen at home... Now, to be honest... during a flare up I am pretty worn down and tired... but you just have to pray for strength and keep on moving as best you can... Good Luck to you... God Bless!
37 yo mom of 4. Diagnosed in 1998 (CD in 3 areas), IBS also. Dealing with fistulizations and current flare. Meds: Imuran, Flagyl, Asipro, Prilosec and Prozac.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 5/21/2010 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Outside of the onset in 98-99. And my bladder fistula getting worse in 08 until my resection. I was able for the most part do whatever I want. Not to say there was'nt sometimes when I had bad days.
Diagnosed Crohns 02. Just had a resection April 20th 2010. Two sections removed had a fistula into the bladder. Also have a temp ostomy. GI said I could stop the 6mp, but going back on remicade.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 5/21/2010 1:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are many, many people with Crohn's Disease who do not post when they feel well. A lot of us posting on this forum are posting because we're dealing with something and seeking out the comfort of others who understand. Even though I've been in a flare without being controlled on meds, I still work, exercise, raise my daughter, BBQ with friends, ... basically I live my life and am happy. There are rough patches, but I like to think I've grown as a result.
1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia, MTX . Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 5/21/2010 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed when I was 16, I'm 23 now.  I've already had 7 surgeries (3 were resections), and an abdomial fistula.  I've never been in remission  I just finished my first 5k race, and I'm now training for a 10k.  I started running to take my mind off the pain of my Crohn's  I work 32 hours a week, and I'm planning my wedding.  It's totally possible to live a normal life with Crohn's however, there are days when I don't get out of bed as well.
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 23 years old now.
Surgeries:3 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings, Fistula Repair
Current Meds: Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
Next Surgery: None.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8424
   Posted 5/21/2010 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Brother and cousin of mine have both lived normal, working lives with Crohn's.

I haven't, but that's not entirely or even majorly down to Crohn's.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 5/21/2010 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Until you are on adequate medication, you will fear that you won't be able to be active.  I was diagnosed at 17, and am 23 now.  It took a couple of years to get me on the right meds -- I even had to transfer to a local school to be closer to my parents and doctors in the event I needed them.  With that being said, I eventually was placed on meds that worked for me for awhile, and I did everything I wanted. 
I think one of the things that I learned more recently is that if you don't keep your stress levels under control, you are only going to cause damage to yourself.  From last September to this March I was a complete stress case, in part because of things going on in my life, and in part because I was going to travel halfway around the world to meet my fiance's parents (who coincidentally don't speak English...) That ended up being disasterous, and when I got back, it was apparent that I had ran myself ragged, and needed a surgery (resection, which I had in early April).
With that said, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.  I wish that I had done something (whether it was medication or working out...).  And breathe :)  You may have your ups and downs with this illness, but you learn how to accomodate yourself when you aren't feeling perfect, and when you are, you can have FUN :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 5/21/2010 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed at 13 and feel I have always led a pretty normal life. I work, raise a family of 4 boys (5 counting the hubby! smilewinkgrin ) housework, cooking, looking after the pets, ride my motorcycle, going out on our boat most weekends in the summer, and go on camping trips with the family in which we sleep in a tent.
I may have to figure things out before hand (don't eat if I won't be gone long, take extra immodium if I am, make sure I know where the bathrooms are and make frequent pit stops, carry extra clothes with me) but I DO NOT let this disease control my life. I refuse to sit home, worrying about what COULD go wrong. If something happens, I deal with it and move on. Admittedly, there are days where I am exhausted and just want to veg and watch tv or sleep, but don't people without crohn's have those days too?
I have people in my family who, while I wouldn't necessarily call them hypochondriacs because they do, admittedly, have something wrong, will sit at home watching for, waiting for, and sometimes imagining the newest symptom they are going thru. I decided a long time ago when I was first diagnosed with this DD that I was going to live life on my terms. For several years, I even ignored it, which has come back to bite me in the butt (literally! wink ) now that I'm older.
You can LIVE with this disease. It's not a death sentence, just an inconvenience.
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 13. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. 2 fistula's, perianal and perivaginal.

Humira, probiotic, a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil. I also take Tramadol 50 mg and Klonopin (for anxiety) as needed.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 5/21/2010 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Not sure my life is "normal," but I am working and I love to golf (about a 3 handicap now.) I got on the right meds for me about a year and a half ago and have played some of the best golf of my life since. I walk all my rounds for the exercise. I was able to go back to reviewing golf equipment for a web site like I used to before my diagnosis.

Funny thing about my golf game: my mental attitude has changed so much. I just think, "this is just a game" now. The consequences of the shot seem meaningless compared to what we deal with.

My mom also has CD, and after she had part of her bowels removed in her 20's, she obviously was able to raise a family and work, etc.

I have type I diabetes and celiac disease too. Crohns was a real kick to the gut when diagnosed, but I continue on! You will too!! Best of luck with your game!
Type I Diabetes- 29 yrs. (MiniMed Insulin Pump)
Celiac Disease- 8 yrs.
Crohn's Disease- (Nov. '06)
Remicade (First Infusion 11/3/08) yeah

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4055
   Posted 5/21/2010 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
My Crohn's is in remission, but I do have IBS, and I need to plan for extra time in the mornings for the bathroom. Other than that, I lead a normal life...I work, have 2 kids, etc. Remission does occur..don't lose hope!
51 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation, probiotics

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 5/21/2010 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I do everything that I want to, ith the exception of eating certain foods lol. I just always know where the bathrooms are when I go someplace. I compete in horse shows and team penning and such. The only time it stops me is when I have a flare bad enough to put me in the hospital.
imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 5/21/2010 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I have lived with this for around 40 years. Went thru High School, College (when the only legal thing available was Prednisone) and have worked full time ever since in what many consider a high demand stressfull career. I still jog, play golf or tennis when I want to, don't when I am tired or flaring, but I still work every day. I have good days and bad, but just have to stuggle thru the bad ones and try to make up for it on the good ones. So you can live a normal life. I have wondered how much more successful I could have been if I felt normal all the time, but that was not the cards we were dealt with and maybe it would not have made a difference. But for the most part I have been able to do what I wanted, travelled to many parts of the world. You can learn to cope. Some people have worse things than Crohn's.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 5/21/2010 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
You absolutely can live productive lives with this disease. I'm currently still in a flare right now, but durring the times when I've been 'healthy' I would golf 7 days a week with at least one of those being a tourny. And also participating in other activities like swimming, hiking, rock climbing, boating, running, mountain/road biking, ( god I can't wait till I'm better again!! ). Buut I tell you this to reinforce what everyone else is saying, once your in a solid state of health you can to alot! And personally it makes me feel more accomplished and proud of what I can do because of what I have to deal with and overcome.

So first things first get to a solid state of health, second do what you want in life don't let this hold you back at all ever! Third keep swingin! Like miguelblanco was saying when your out on the course the stressors that will get other players down won't get you down because you've delt with personal hell, so who cares if you snap hook it into the pond, or chilli dip your approach on 18! Hahaha :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 5/21/2010 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
If you can get your Crohns under control, anything's still possible:

*GDen, I had to remove your blog.  It must be put in your signature per forum rules*

Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 5/24/2010 7:42:54 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 5/21/2010 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I can't say CD has slowed me down much, unless I'm in a flare. When I had a job, I had no problem working full-time and still having some fun on the weekends. I try and stay fit by working out at least a couple times per week and am planning on running again. Being in surgery-induced remission helps, that's for sure.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.
Resection December 2009

Amor fati - Nietzsche

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1810
   Posted 5/22/2010 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I think if you want something badly enough, you are going to go for it and fight for it. I loved reading the posts here. They are very reassuring.
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well
IBS, asthma/allergies,  high BP, fibromyalgia, GERD, restless legs and periodic limb movement in sleep, low thyroid, the list keeps growing..........................
claritin, singulair, diovan, progesterone, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D, colazal, plaquenil back on cymbalta for pain, nexium for reflux (trying again)
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel ASCA
Positive ANA rheumatologist suspects mixed connective tissue disease 4/2010
Collitis doing OK for now, it's fatigue and joint pain that are plagueing me right now!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 5/22/2010 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes! There is hope! And welcome to the forum laz0810!

My son leads a VERY active life. He's an honor student (about to graduate from hs) and a competitive swimmer who competes on the national level. He was slowed down for nearly 2 years prior to his diagnosis (mostly due to anemia), but once we got things under control and his anemia resolved, he returned to normal activity level. We attribute his success to following the SCD very strictly for over two years. He still follows it 99% of the time, but cheats occasionally without issues (his "cheats", however, do not include junk food, but rather foods with "illegal" grains or an occasional potato or rice dish). He also consumes probiotics and fermented foods for their beneficial bacteria.

Best wishes to you!
Mom to 18 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium, vit. D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Incorporate Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too. Med-free.

Threads discussing diet:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3932
   Posted 5/22/2010 6:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm pretty active. The first 2-3 years were very hard at dx, but as it setteled down some, I've lived a normal working life. Not maybe where I'd want to be, but I cannot blame Crohn's for that. I'm very active, even though CD & Arthritis keep chipping at me..


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 5/22/2010 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
My daughter ended up in ER in her freshman year in college in 2006...and just a few months later, was hospitalized when she tried to go off Entocort, so we were pretty worried about her prospects for a happy life. BUT with the disease under control through diet and meds by the fall of '06, she has been able to do everything she wanted to do, including semesters abroad and graduating with the rest of her class. And now she has a great job - works day and night. Crohn's has not gotten in the way of her dreams and her life. (I heard tonight she's going out dancing, and probably won't be back in her apartment 'til near dawn.)
She's on a strict diet, and takes supplements and meds at regular intervals - but otherwise, doesn't want to have to think about Crohn's - so she doesn't hang out on HW.  
Daughter (22) Dx'd Crohn's 3/06. Misdiagnosed for two years, including by top pediatric Crohn's specialist as stress. No symptoms for the past three years. March '09 colonoscopy showed stricture gone but two spots of inflammation in TI. Used LDN to taper off Entocort last fall. (Was on Entocort since April 06.) Never had D. 4.5 mg LDN, SCD multivit, homemade yogurt, 5000IU vit D3, 1000 mg calcium, 27-54 mg iron, monthly B12 shots, daily oral B12 1000, 10mg zinc. SCD diet modified years ago to include potatoes and rice. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 925
   Posted 5/23/2010 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel like I am living pretty normal most of the time.
I had a talk with my bosses and coworkers to explain some of my "behaviors" over the last few years.
My most recent non-normal experience was a short out of town trip.  Since I have not achieved remission yet, I was slightly panicky over food and having only 1 bathroom in the hotel room.
Diagnosed (FINALLY) UC Sept 09/Diagnosis amended 5-3-10 to Crohn's
Taking Pentasa 500mg/8x/day
Entocort 3X/day
Bentyl as needed
1000 mg Vitamin C
Prilosec 1X/day

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 5/23/2010 10:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, if anything, Crohn's made me more determined to live each day to the fullest. Granted, we must recognize that when our bodies tell us to rest, we should listen. And we cannot afford to give up on eating properly. In spite of Crohn's I have accomplished things my friends wouldn't have attempted. You will do great!
Age 58, Crohn's since age 21
3 bowel resections, 1980,88,95
1 fistula repair, 2005
digestive enzymes

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 5/24/2010 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
You can definitely live an active and productive lifestyle!

I'm a competitive cyclist and was able to compete once I worked all my "kinks" out (finding out what I could eat/drink while training and racing, getting plenty of rest, learning what works for my body, etc). It has been extremely frustrating at times as it seems to me that I have to train harder and much smarter than others, but also have to listen to my body (which is most important). When it doesn't want to work out, I've learned to take the day off, as hard as it may be.

Whatever you do, do not let this disease take over your life or let anyone lead you to believe that you won't be able to accomplish things that you want to accomplish. Just learn to "fit it in" and find out what works for your body (however frustrating it may be at first). You'll be golden once you get it down!! Keep your head up!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 5/24/2010 1:03 AM (GMT -6)   
yes!! i have dealt with this darn disease for 21 years now- graduated college, earned my MBA- worked for a Wall St. firm (until that blew up...oops)...have a loving wife of 6 years and a beautiful 5 year old daughter...don't get me wrong- it's tough some times and there certainly are times I can't do things I'd like to, but for the most part i try to put on a brave face, not let people know i feel like s^&% and try to go on and enjoy each day! you'll be fine and don't let anyone tell you you wont!
35 year old male living in AZ.  Diagnosed with Crohns at age of 15.
Currently off Pred.  still taking Asacol.  Just had 1st Remicade infusion a week and a half ago
In the middle of a bad flare now for a year...lost almost 30 lbs. -- gained most of it back now.

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