Remission...what is it exactly?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 10/11/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay that may sound like a dumb question, but what exactly is considered remission... Does one have to be symptom free for a specific period of time to reach "remission" status.  And if you're in remission, are you still having to always watch what you eat?  For example, if my daughter gets into remission, no symptoms, no flares for a period of (whatever that time is...), then what happens if she eats a tomato?  We know that tomatoes in any form hurt her stomach, but if she's in remission, shouldn't the tomato be okay at that point?  Why would it still hurt if she was in remission? Isn't remission considered a period where you are healed and your Crohn's is inactive?  If so, then why would anything hurt?  Also, are all Crohnie's considered to be lactose/casein and gluten intolerant?  Don't know that for sure about my child either. Gluten doesn't seem to bother her. Lactose, not positive.
Posts refer to my 9 year old girl
  • Started with 30 mg Prednisone, tapered off over 3 months.  Currently taking:
  • Pentasa, 3 blue horse-sized capsules, 2 x daily
  • Forvia multivitamin/mineral for Crohnies
  • Coromega and Omega capsule; Calcium
  • VSL#3;  Custom Probiotics; Culturelle; Align

  • Trigirl
    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Jan 2006
    Total Posts : 768
       Posted 10/11/2009 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
    I don't think remission means "healed". More like less active or resting. Why would you try to challenge your disease like that? If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. Don't know who said it, but I believe it.
    This heights by great men reached and kept, were not obtained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.
    H.W. Longfellow
    Thyroid cancer removed 1988
    Stomach problems finally figured out 2001 Crohn's/Colitus
    Tried every drug without much success
    Colon/rectal cancer removed Aug 2009

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Oct 2008
    Total Posts : 1343
       Posted 10/11/2009 10:15 PM (GMT -7)   
    I consider remission to mean free of symptoms, as well as having clean scopes (no inflammation, polyps, etc.).

    If your daughter is in remission, I'd say she might be able to try tomato cautiously. If she can tolerate a small amount over a period of time, then she could increase it.

    I didn't have any immediate symptoms after eating gluten/lactose. However, once I gave them up (as well as sugar), my fistulas healed. Obviously one or more of those items was causing a problem. I have had a lot of other problems clear up as well (constipation, acid reflux, etc.), so I'm in no hurry to ever eat those things again.
    34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
    Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
    Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
    Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
    SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined May 2009
    Total Posts : 703
       Posted 10/11/2009 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   
    I think remission is when your GE doesn't think your disease is active enough to warrant drugs other than maintenance meds like Asacol.

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Dec 2007
    Total Posts : 414
       Posted 10/12/2009 3:10 AM (GMT -7)   
    With I'm classed as in remission when I'm not poorly and my bloodtests show no inflammation. Remission also used to mean for me having no symptoms, unfortunately a few flares on I will now always have trouble with my bowels due to damage somewhere along the tract, I get diarrhoea every morning but its controlled with codeine for the rest of the day.
    My GI usually waits until my results and good health have been consistent for a few months before using the term remission, during the time its referred to as 'quiescent'. My last scope showed inflammation but it was still in the process of healing (that was 2months into a quiescent period) but my GI just said that that just showed how severe the inflammation had been in my previous flare but was confident it was definitely going into remission, 6 months later still going strong!
    Theres some foods I will never be able to eat without a problem, fruits and veggies I can handle in small quantities but its not necessarily active disease that will be causing issues with it, it could be due to a bit of damage/scarring from previous flares or just that your body gets so used to being played safe with it just doesn't know what to do when a bit of fibre is thrown its way!

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Apr 2003
    Total Posts : 973
       Posted 10/12/2009 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
    It depends on who you ask. I think everyone has different definitions of remission. I considered myself to be in remission the last 5 years, even though a few things still made me have diarrhea the next morning. In a flare, my 'no' food list grows substantially. My doc claims I'm in remission now because the scope only showed signs of quiescent (inactive) crohn's. But he's not the one who has spent half the morning on the toilet with pure liquid D and pain all evening. And it's daily. So I definitely think I'm in a flare. But since being first diagnosed, I have never been able to eat anything I want without paying for it the next day. Before being diagnosed, I could eat anything and I never had D (or constipation) unless I had a stomach bug and that only last a day or two. So in my opinion, remission is when you can live a completely 'normal' life as long as you avoid the foods at the top of that 'no' list (like tomatoes for your daughter).
    Stephanie, 29, married for 10 wonderful years and mommy to two awesome toddlers
    dx with Crohn's 4/2003, in remission from 11/2003 to 7/2009
    omeprazole 40mg, zoloft 100mg, apriso 1500mg, dicyclomine 3/day
    dx with bipolar II 8/2009, re-diagnosed with bipolar I 9/09
    Apparently allergic to lamictal...waiting on next rx

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Mar 2009
    Total Posts : 1118
       Posted 10/12/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
    Hi,after having a right hemicolectomy i went into  remmision for 15 wonderful years i had no symptoms whatsoever and sometimes wondered if i did have crohns the only thing that i had was D from having the op and  was told that would be the case for the rest of my life  but i'm able to cope with that by using lomotil, it was a small price to pay! Hoping to get another long remmision once this latest bag  saga is over!!!!!! roll on November! smilewinkgrin Bev x
    Diagnosed with crohn's at 13 now 42
    resection, right hemi 1993 In remmision from 93 till last sept with no meds or docs
    2 resections small bowel  and fistula jan 09 and given temp stoma.  reversal sheduled for Nov09 Meds:Pentasa 500mg 3x day,  B12 shots, every 3 months, iron syrup,loperimide,folic acid, Back on citalopram 40mg (for Anxiety.)

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Jan 2009
    Total Posts : 832
       Posted 10/12/2009 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
    I got my first flare in oct 2008 and I think I got my first remission this summer with the help of remicade.
    But as the weather gets worse my tummy feels the same.
    24 year old female
    Diagnosed with :
    Endometriosis march 2007
    Anxiety disorder august 2007
    Crohn's disease in December 2008 Then they changed it to UC in June 2009.
    and Autoimmune Hepeatitis in July 2009

    Medication - Asacol, Remicade, Cipralex and Cerazette.
    My wonderful dogs :) ~ ~

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Apr 2006
    Total Posts : 1885
       Posted 10/12/2009 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
    You can feel fine but not be in remission. This is my daughter's case, who has zero symptoms, low sed rate and CRP, but shows active inflammation via a scope.
    So to me remission means stopping the disease dead in its tracks - like Spookyhurst said, confirmed by a scope. Otherwise, this DD keeps damaging the body, and not all the damage is reversible. 
    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 two years. Recent colonoscopy shows stricture gone but still two spots of inflammation in TI. On Entocort since April 06. Never had D. Now using LDN to taper off Entocort. SCD multivitamin, homemade yogurt, 2000IU vitamin D3, 900+ mg calcium, 25 mg iron, monthly B12 shots, Krill capsules, occasional zinc. SCD diet modified to include potatoes and rice. 

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Jul 2008
    Total Posts : 674
       Posted 10/12/2009 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
    Remission for me means no symptoms at all whatsoever.  I can eat whatever I want and have one normal bowel movement a day.  I've only experienced 3 weeks of remission in my life, and I've had this disease for 7 years.
    Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
    Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings
    Current Meds: Cimzia, Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
    Next Surgery: Sept 4, 2009 to Take Down Abdominal Fistula!!  (On hold until current flare is under control, boo!)
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