CD and genetic risk factors

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/17/2008 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi ,
  My spouse is diagnosed with crohn's for past 4 years and we had a child just before this episode. Sometimes it makes me nervous to think if there is any chance this is passed to our kid. I know there's always this risk of genes.
Just want to know if any one of has their kids diagnosed with CD or your parents along with you.
 Now my spouse is not even ready to think abt having another kid .
My spouse is only treated with pentasa,flagyl so far but there's always a chance we have to go for REMICADE/HUMIRA soon as CD is moderate to severe now.
Let us know your experiences ....

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/17/2008 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I am the only one in my family who has Crohns. None of my siblings, parents or grandparents ever had it. I guess I was the lucky one:( I know there are a few folks here that do have a family member with the disease also, but most don't. Crohns is a autoimmune disease and I do know also that some of the family members have other diseases such as RA, Lupus, UC etc. But for me, as I stated before, I am the only one.

By the way alot of women after having children flare afterwards because of the big hormone fluctuation. But we do have some mom's on the board who have had great success with Remicade/Humira while pregnant and nursing. Hope your wife gets some relief soon.

And Welcome to Healingwell, look forward to hearing more from you.
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.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/17/2008 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Nanners .

Yes in my spouse's family no one else diagnosed with CD so far or atleast no history as of yet.Its a new thing to us and i don't even want to see any one else suffer like that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 7/17/2008 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm the only one in my family with Crohn's and am expecting now (one month to go and I have had a very easy preg). The genetic risk when only one parent has the diseass is not that much higher than the general population. Plus, many people have genes for the disease but never get it because it requires trigger too.

I actually suspect that my hubby has some form of IBD. Both parents having it does increase the risk for offspring, but that wouldn't stop us from trying for another child in a few years.
Currently in remission!

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 7/17/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I am the only one with Crohns in my family. I am the only one that is sick.

I do know that it can run in families but they don't know why sometimes it does sometimes it does not.
There is a lot of material to read on the subject on all of the Crohns Web-sites. I know they are looking at
Industrial reasons, Viral, and what region your ancestors came from. I am not aware they have
pinned anything down yet.

I am sorry to hear about your spouse. My Mom tells me to never worry until it happens and sometimes
that helps me.

Good Luck

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/18/2008 1:40 AM (GMT -7)   
is stress a big trigger in chrons?

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/18/2008 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
In order to get sick with IBD (crohn's or ulcerative colitis) you must be genetically predisposed and then it has to be triggered...

stress is not proven to be a trigger, it is thought to be an exacerbater of symptoms once one is sick with it...however I know I was under a tremendous amount of stress when I got sick, but I did have the signs of perianal crohn's skin tags in my early teens (which was sluffed off as hemmies) and didn't get sick internally until my early 20's during the time of high stress so I wouldn't be surprised if stress was a trigger because that's how it played out for me...just because it's not a proven trigger doesn't mean it's not...much needs to be learned about IBD still.

According to Dr. Kevin Rioux from the university of Alberta...

It's estimated that if one parent has IBD (either CD or UC) their offspring has a 10- to 15- fold increased risk of developing IBD (either CD or UC) compared with those who do not have a parent with IBD.

Smoking, including second-hand smoke is one KNOWN environmental trigger.

A significant percentage (~20%) of IBD patients have a relative that also suffers from IBD.

Certain ethnic groups are at substantially higher risk for IBD than the general population (mostly those of jewish descent).

There are extream cases of familial IBD where nearly every member of a family suffers from the disease.

In studies of identical twins, if one twin has crohn's there is a 40-60% chance the other twin will also have the disease.


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

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 7/18/2008 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Both my daughter and I have Crohn's. She was diagnosed with it 15 years ago at the age of 12. I was diagnosed 2 years ago at the age of ??, but could have had it for 10+ years. I was told by multiple doctors that it was just IBS. Were they ever wrong.
There is a chance that any offsprings will develop IBD but there is so many other things out there that they can inherit.  I would never worry about the "what ifs" when it comes to procreating.  If there is enough love, any obstacle can be overcome. 

Vicky / 48 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (27) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Post Edited (Mormor Vicky) : 7/18/2008 11:46:10 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/18/2008 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes i agree with many posts here on along with the gene there should something else in the environment to that to be triggered.

Its quite stressful when it hits ur family , emotionally i feel the same pain as significant other.

Sometimes i feel a baby can make us forget some of the pain we go through...I understand its additional work/stress with sleepless nights and worry over college :)

Thanks everyone for your time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 7/18/2008 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
They are now thinking there are 30 genes linked to CD so it's going to be interesting to see what they figure out about that. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,and still gail

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 7/18/2008 4:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I am the only one in my family that has CD. My parents are fine, brother, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents,etc... We have a 2 year old and do I worry about him getting it? No because at least I know if he does get it, I'm right there with him every step of the way. I also had a flare after he was born but it wasn't really bad. I have CD very mild. But when I do have a flare I am sick.
Living with Crohn's Disease since Jan./2000 but had a few years prior
I'm a true Crohnie with IBS too
Meds I have tried:  Too many to list- LOL
Meds currently on:  Prednisone 20mg tapering  Back up to 30mg  :-(
                           Methotrexate injections once a week 25mg
                           Folic Acid 5mg once a week
No Surgeries

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 7/19/2008 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I have two sons - 30 and 26 and neither show any signs of Crohns, however I have a sister with Crohns, another who is not diagnosed but is likely to have it and an auntie (my Dad's sister). We also think our father had it but wasn't diagnosed (he died 17 years ago).

I sometimes worry about my boys but like others have said, there are so many things out there that you can have at least we know how to deal with Crohns and can be there to support them should they ever get it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4384
   Posted 7/19/2008 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't think your child can be tested before s/he develops the illness. The chances are still low of having a child with Crohn's even it it is an increased risk compared to the general population, Having a child is always a risk, but then again, so is being alive! I am the only relative in my immediate and extended family with Crohn's, but I do have relatives with other auto-immune diseases. Good luck with your decision,
49 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

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 7/19/2008 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I am the only one in my family that has Crohn's and I have looked into both sides extensively. There are other autoimmune diseases that run in my family--RA, Asthma, Eczema, and I think Diabetes is classified as such.

I have an 8 year old son who is very healthy.

I really think the trigger theory is true. about a month or two before I started getting the eye inflammation, which lead to my eventual diagnosis of Crohn's, I had Viral Spinal Meningitis. Ever since then, it has been one thing after another, and when I was told it could be Crohn's, and I looked into the disease, it all started making sense. I really think the Meningitis kicked my immune system into high gear.

I wish the very best for you, your child and your wife! I hope she gets feeling better soon!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 7/19/2008 10:37 PM (GMT -7)   
My son is 10 yrs. and so far so good (knock on wood!). Neither of my parents or grandparents had it. My brother doesn't have it. I do have an Aunt that most likely does, but is not diagnosed. I do have Diabetes in the family, that seems to be hit or miss as well.

I look at it this way, every family has something awful running through it. No one would have kids if we viewed it just on what they "could" inherit from us.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Prednisone: tapered to 2.5 mg *eek*, Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure).

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 7/20/2008 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm the only one in my family. One of the first things we thought about when I was diagnosed was having children and the chance they would get it. However, we feel we can handle it since I have it and don't worry about it.

Southern Mama
New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/20/2008 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! My husband has had Crohn's for 31 years, and we were very worried about our baby after I became pregnant. I was 35 at the time, so my doctor sent me for genetic testing after my AFP test came back abnormal. We asked the genetist about the chances, and she stated that it is about a 1 in 500 chance that a child of a Crohn's patient will be diagnosed with the disease. My husband and his first cousin are the only ones in his family who have it.

Hope this helps alleviate some of your worry!

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/20/2008 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
There is no way to know for sure if a crohnie has a baby if they will for sure get IBD as well that's why they came to the conclusion of a 10- to 15 fold increased risk of the development if at least one parent has IBD. It's still unclear exactly how IBD genes are passed down but there is definitely a ton of research that has identified many genes that are related to crohn's disease specifically, they are not all the same genes that are related to UC, but it is known that a parent with crohns that has a child could pass UC to the child...infact my mom has UC and I have crohn's so it can work either way, more needs to be learned about exactly how it all works but enough is known that it is infact genetic but the disease still has to be triggered.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 7/25/2008 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been diagnosed a little over a year now. My dad has always had intestinal problems but hasn't been diagnosed with anything, my aunt has intestinal problems but was diagnosed with IBS...i worry about my kids though.
28 yr old female, diagnosed with crohn's colitis with stricture of the colon april 2007, first fistula- october 07 :(  
joint pain and swelling
current medications:  Imuran 50 MG, Lialda 1.2g, tramadol 50mg when needed, remicade every 8wks

Lady G
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 7/25/2008 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
My dad has a SEVERE case of crohns and I have it too. Even still my case is pretty light and though I have had painful flares I don't regret them having me and mine is pretty manageable, no where near my dads status. I am just newly pregnant now and even though I know my child could catch it, I still don't look for the negatives or anything, I just hope they can get my husbands 'never get sick' genes (his health rather amazes me)...even if they did catch crohns I know just like any of us, I don't think we regret being alive and I'd rather try and see then not at all, fear isn't a good way to live.
27 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Taking Imuran.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 7/26/2008 10:41 PM (GMT -7)   
My Dad's mom had intestinal problems. My uncle had a section of his intestinal tract removed. My Dad has diverticulitis and colitis. My sister is currently being evaluated for possible Crohn's disease. My Dad is being tested for temporal arteritis, which is inflamation of the arteries in the head. It is treated with prednisone and a lot of the blood work he has had run is the same as for Crohn's. I just emailed my doc to see if the two inflammatory diseases are related. Does anyone else have a family member with temporal arteritis? I've been wondering if Crohn's can cause inflammation other places in ones body. I know that a lot of people with Crohn's have arthritis so I thought that if the body is attacking the digestive system what is stopping it from causing inflammation other places in the body? Any thoughts on this? I'll let you know what my doc says about the relationship between the two diseases.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 7/26/2008 11:00 PM (GMT -7)   
This was a huge thing that passed through my mind whenever my husband and I started planning a family. We had already struggled for nearly a year with infertility and then I was dx with Crohn's and went from healthy to very ill very quickly. We questioned whether we should adopt so we didn't pass this on, we questioned whether we should put my body through the stress of a pregnancy. We did a LOT of questioning on how to proceed.

As you can tell from my signature, we did have children with the help of ART (Advanced Reproductive Technologies) but that is because I have PCOS (polycystic ovaries) on top of Crohn's in which my doctor has a lot of speculations and theories that my infertility was exaggerated because of the Crohn's.

Regardless, here's what we know. I am the only one in either of our families with IBD. I have one very distant cousin with Crohn's and that's it. There is a obviously several bouts of IBS and spastic colon in our family, in which now my GIs are telling me it seems I do have either IBS or spastic colon or both on top of the Crohn's based on my last flare. Dr. Christian Stone at Wash U in St. Louis told me that only 5% of Crohn's patients are hereditary. Yes, there is some hereditary link, but it seems to be quite rare and hit and miss over generations. It doesn't seem to go to children. In fact, when I was originally dx (and this might have changed because research changes so much these days), it was explained to me that my siblings have a higher chance of having Crohn's then my children ever would.

I did lose a daughter to a rare anomaly called Cloaca, which is basically a very messed of GI and urinary system, but I have been told by Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists at Vanderbilt, Mayo, CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philedelphia), Tampa General, IU Med School that her anomaly was NOT caused by my Crohn's. She had a healthy twin right next to her. My daughter's loss was total "fluke" in the medical sense. SEVERAL GIs have also reiterrated to me that my medications did not cause her anomaly either. Nor, do they think we passed anything onto our children in regards to this DD.

I know it is hard, but it's very unlikely you are going to pass on Crohn's to your children. You have a much better chance of "passing" on other things that are far more likely to happen. It was a hard step my husband and I had to overcome, but we came to the decision we wanted to at least try for biological children and therefore we proceeded. We always wanted a large family, and we hope my DD doesn't prohibit that too much.

On the upside, 1/3 of women get better while pregnant with Crohn's, 1/3 stay the same, and 1/3 get worse. I got better. I was able to eat whatever I wanted. Granted, I crashed slowly over the next year following the birth, but that was completely to be expected and none of my doctor's have been surprised at my fall.

GL with your decision. Don't live with the fear of "What if" it'll eat you alive!
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Remicade - Next infusion - July 10th - new dose - 10mg/kg
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 11 months old

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