Crohn’s disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the intestines. While it can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, the small bowel and the colon are the areas of the body most often impacted. Symptoms of Colitis and Crohn’s disease may include diarrhea, cramping abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, blood in the stool, constipation, skin problems, and fatigue.
Fortunately, most people with Crohn’s disease don’t need to worry about having a shortened life expectancy. Like most diseases people diagnosed with Crohn’s have many concerns, but in the last 50 years, there have been important advances in the diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease.
The danger of life threatening complications, such as with toxic mega colon, is less than 1 percent, while the risk of death from a severe attack of the disease has diminished to less than 3 percent. These numbers are an improvement on those of the 1950s, which reached 30 to 50 percent. Life expectancy for men diagnosed with Crohn’s disease is currently 77.3 years and 79.0 years for women. Overall life expectancy has not significantly changed during recent studies and is not statistically significantly different from the life expectancy of the general population.
In the last 10 years, there has been an explosion of scientific discoveries related to the genetic and environmental causes and treatment for Crohn’s disease. There have been tremendous advances in understanding of this condition, and the current options and approach to treatments provide much more certainty of success and much less fear of the unknown. Medical experts now have the knowledge and tools needed to be proactive with treatments. This means they have the ability to stop disease progression, prevent relapses, and avoid surgeries like never before. Patients with Crohn’s disease are not only living longer, fuller lives but also enjoying significantly improved quality of life.