I am a 40 year old male. My Crohn's returned this year after a 26 year remission (med free) after a resection at age 13 (diagnosed age 9 in 1979). I happen to be one of those "lucky" ones with only mild to moderate symptoms. My bloodwork showed I was slightly anemic at first but 6 months later all in the normal range. I feel good with plenty of energy throughout the day. I have some cramping pain now and then that goes away in a minute. I am constipated as some are, but my worst symptom is that my middle right finger, and now a toe on one foot, is inflamed and becomes painful at night to the point where I can't bend my finger. Within minutes of waking, the pain goes away and the movement returns. I understand this may be a form of rheumatoid arthritis.
It seems that the concensus on this forum is to take some kind of med to keep the inflammation in check to avoid strictures and prolong surgery. My doc wants to start me on Remicade infusions with a skin test for TB, chest x-ray, and test for Hepatitis B and possibly 3 vaccinations if I am not immune. Infusions to be 1st week, 2 weeks later, 4 weeks later and every 8 weeks.
I asked about Pentasa or Asacol but he strongly recommended the Remicade which is done in their own facilities.
I am not losing weight, weak, or tired and my blood counts are good - but the inflammation is there as evidenced in my finger and toe. Should I start Remicade or is this overkill as a first option?