Posted 11/27/2007 12:04 PM (GMT -6)
Medication can certainly get a lot of the symptoms under control and no, crohn's doesn't always get worse. Some people experience long periods of remission when they have virtually no symptoms. Remember, people on these pages tend to be the sickest and those most engaged in their disease. For many others, diagnosis is the point at which they begin feeling better, not worse, because they are finally being treated for symptoms that have been bothering them for years.
This is an unpredictable disease. It doesn't seem to affect any two people the same way, but it sounds like your daughter's case is relatively mild in that it is probably confined to the terminal ileum, doesn't seem to involve fistulas as primary aspects of the disease and has not excessively hindered her lifestyle. It sounds like she has coped very well up to this point with the symptoms of disease -- not everyone experiences symptoms with the same degree of intensity -- and that weighs very positively in her favour. Coping style can really influence how a person experiences this disease.
It is really important, however, that she get the inflammation that is causing her pain under control and that will probably mean medication. The key is to slow as much as possible the formation of strictures.
I suspect given her initial presentation that will be her greatest challenge in living with this disease.