What distiguishes between Mild, Moderate and Severe Crohn's?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 12/14/2011 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
A family friend asked me why I'm under the label of moderate to Severe Crohn's if I've never had any removal of intestine or have had to take steroids and have never been hospitalized, If there are many people much worse than I have been.  I didn't really know how to answer her. What I have had are several fistulas, abscesses, fissures, skin tags, ulcers and obviously inflammation. But I don't know what exactly puts someone under one label over another. Is there a chart of some sort that is used to distinguish the labels?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 12/14/2011 9:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I've always been curious about this myself. My GI says I have a severe case, yet my symptoms are almost non-existant other than 3 formed stools a day, minor abdominal pains. Of course I'm taking Remicade and I'm still on 20mg of Pred, so who is to say how I'll feel off the steroids, for the most part though I feel well.

It's really different for everyone.
32 - DX 06/11 with Crohns Ilecolitis, also dealing with generalized anxiety disorder, possible reflux/GERD
Meds - Prednisone 25mg, Pentasa 500mg 4x, Xanax .5mg 3x, Zoloft 75mg, Prilosec 20mg 2x
Remicade Started 11/18/11

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 12/14/2011 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Try CDAI, which may help you measure how severe it is:


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 12/15/2011 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
@EruditePaul: tried that calculator and it gave me 54. And it says under 150 is good.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2465
   Posted 12/16/2011 3:15 AM (GMT -7)   
It gave me a 94. I've had a fistula, been hospitalized, been on pred. Had a major bleed, and am slightly anemic right now. Just had a horrid case of Erythema Nodosum. Yet they tell me I have "mild" Crohn's. Hmmm I'm curious how they figure that! lol
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Celexa.

Jonny Five
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 107
   Posted 12/16/2011 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
There are a number of factors to consider.  The first, is simply the presence of extra-inflammatory problems like fistula or abscesses indicate a more serious form of the disease.  Another is the extent of the inflammation.  If you have very localized inflammation then you may experience serious pain symptoms, but the actual disease activity is limited to a small region.
In a lot of cases it comes down to a calculation of risk.  You may have only minor inflammation, but if it affects your entire intestine without many gaps then the risk is very high.  If you end up requiring surgical intervention then your entire colon would require removal instead of simply a small section of it.  Diseased tissue cannot be attached together, so even if only a small part of your intestine develops a stricture, then the entire inflammed portion must be removed so that two healthy sections can be stitched together.  In this case, the severity of the symptoms or inflammation may be low, but the risk is high enough to justify some stronger meds to try to keep it under control so that surgery is not necessary.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 12/17/2011 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
My doctor told me when first dx'd that I had a mild case and would never need surgery.. Well, I had surgery 8 yrs later to remove 18" of sm intestine... I am now on Humira but in remission...
Where does that put me now???? Severe??
Diagnosed with Crohns in 2001
First and hopefully last Ileocecectomy 2/18/2009

Medications:Humira,  Asacol, FolicAcid,  Multivitamin, 1000mg Calcium, Vitamin D, Probiotics, Pepcid Complete, Questran,  Monthly B-12 injections.

Living a Great life with my Wife and my two Chocolate Labs
Hunter & Hailey.
I love them dearly.
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