Cure vs. Remission: Thoughts from a Crohn’s Caregiver

January 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm 5 comments

Recently, I was engaged in a Facebook argument (mature I know) with someone about whether or not Crohn’s disease could be cured. She (who doesn’t have the disease) was claiming that it could be cured by eliminating trigger foods from the patient’s died. I was trying to explain to her, with little success, that yes, if you eliminate trigger foods, some patients will experience a decrease in symptoms and subsequently may enter into a period of remission; however, that does not mean they are cured.

This argument really made me angry and I started to do a little digging online and was astounded to see how much misinformation there is out there. That is why I wrote this piece for the Huffington Post:

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main diseases that make up the broad inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis. In patients with these diseases, the body’s immune system attacks parts of the digestive tract and causes inflammation, cramping, diarrhea, bleeding and all sorts of other issues.

According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, “To date, there is no known cause of or cure for IBD, but fortunately there are many effective treatments to help control these diseases.”

Medications, surgery, and diet modifications can help patients with inflammatory bowel diseases live regular lives. In patients with Crohn’s disease, neither of these treatments induces a cure; the best they do is bring a patient into a symptom-free state (remission, see below). Patients with ulcerative colitis can be treated with the surgical removal of the colon; however, surgery will not cure the underlying inflammatory disorder that the patients have, leaving them susceptible to pouchitis, arthritis, skin ulcers and other autoimmune diseases. The bottom line: When you have an inflammatory bowel disease, you have it for life.

Please take a look at the full piece here!

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Entry filed under: Advocates, Caregiving, Diet, General Disease, Medication, Treatment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cathy Buchanan  |  February 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

    This is so true. I have lived with Crohns since I was nineteen (I’m 57 now) and had multiple surgeries, including a permanent colostomy. Anyone who tries to tell me this disease can be cured obviously doesn’t have it, and doesn’t know anyone who has it. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is not fun. I can’t turn my head enough to properly shoulder-check when I’m driving. Cure? I wish.

    Reply
  • 2. how to help arthritis  |  August 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm

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    Cure vs. Remission: Thoughts from a Crohn’s Caregiver | Caring for Crohn’s & UC

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    Cure vs. Remission: Thoughts from a Crohn’s Caregiver | Caring for Crohn’s & UC

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  • […] entirely (since it is limited to the colon only). However, there are many patients and advocates (myself included) who feel that, while the colon was removed, the issues they experience afterwards- pouchitis, skin […]

    Reply

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