1.) Does Crohn's disease tend to get better or worse as people age? If it's an over-active immune system, does age slow it down, and the flare ups are less severe and more spread out? What has been your personal experience with this disease?
2.) What is remission with Crohn's? Do you have normal bowel movements when in remission, if you have had no resection surgeries? What about foods that you can tolerate - when in remission can you eat whatever you ate when things were still normal before Crohn's?
3.) If you have had surgery, what is remission? I guess based on how much of the small/large intestines are removed, you'll have some diarrhea, and maybe some limitation in what you can eat. After surgery, is lack of pain, and lack of blood in stool considered remission?
4.) What has been your personal experience with remission? How long have you stayed in remission?
5.) Does treating a flare up early result in better outcomes?
Thanks for your insight, and for sharing your personal experiences.
Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff
Currently in hospital for past month
Canasa, Lialda, Vancomycin, Colestipol, Elavil, IV Solumedrol 120mgs, Remicade (1st infusion April 10, 2008), FloraQ, FloraStor, Morphine Time release for pain
1.) I think as we age we watch everything we do more carefully in regard to CD. I am 43 years old now. It's been over a decade since I was diagnosed and only a year since my last resection. I got really scared this last time because I got so very sick and so very thin and frail. Since the surgery I found information that has turned this around toward a course for better living. I don't eat dairy products except for aged cheddar. The last couple days I quit eating wheat/gluten. (But I had a wonderful spaghetti dinner using rice pasta the other night.) So it is fair to say, as we get older we gain insight into what works and doesn't work each one of us.
2.) Remission for me (and I have about 3 feet of small intestine missing now) is to have normal bowel movements again. I had diarrhea so bad it got me up during the night too. I know I am onto something when I have removed wheat/gluten from my diet and in 2 days my bowel movements are solid again.
3.) I also think remission means the swelling and pain goes away. Things seem to settle down. No running to the bathroom. Clinically, I think it means so Crohn's activity.
4.) Now I look for ways to improve my overall health. I take Intramax (a liquid vitamin/mineral supplement) that is 100% carbon bond organic. It begins to absorb in the mouth so I no longer suffer from malnutrition like I once did. I watch what I eat and drink VERY carefully. I am still working out what I can have that does me well and what I can't have that causes my body harm. My longest remission was from Jan 1999 (1st sm. bowel resection - terminal ileum) until April 2004 when I had the balloon procedure.
5.) Without a single doubt!!!! The quicker you catch it, the quicker you can end it and get things back in balance. My last flare up was Sunday so this is fresh in my mind. We went to a wedding reception where I ate cake, cookies, crackers and little finger sandwiches. Later that afternoon I was bloated and miserable. By that night I was in the bathroom with foamy diarrhea. I began drinking "Refresh" tea (made by Tazo; ingredients: peppermint, spearmint, and tarragon). I took wheat/gluten out of my diet. This morning I am back to normal, i.e. solid stool.
You are welcome and I hope everything works out well for you.
diagnosed in 1992
surgeries: 2 sm. bowel resections
diet: no dairy, no wheat
supplements: intramax (saved my life!)