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What Is Remission?

Cara Fusinato

Sarcastic Forum Comedian
What does everyone mean when you say remission? Are you still having flare-ups? Are you still having pain? Are you still hitting the r.room often? Or does remission mean parts have been cut out and you are clean to "start over" or not depending on what the body does? I keep hearing people say they have been in remission for X years or whatever. What does remission feel like? I suspect it is a different place on the spectrum for each person, but I am just curious what you all term remission.


Remission is when your disease is not active, or less active. You may never experience full remission, but remission can also be measured in the CDAI, Crohns disease activity index, BUT this isnt very accurate, especially if you have an ostomy. You'll have no or less symtoms during this time. It will be when you feel your best. That doesnt mean that when you wake up one day and you feel better then the day before you in remission though, its a slow process, takes time, knowledge, understanding, treatment.


Senior Member
Have to agree with Skinsfan.. apparently (according to my latest GI's thinking) I've had some form of IBD for 17+ years (she suspects longer, that I may have slowly been developing it way before my symptoms demanded I seek medical attention). My longest 'remission' was nearly a decade. I'd started with bleeding, diarhea and chronic cramping... they found proctitis, open fissures and diverticulitis.. but I was put on steroid enemas for 45 days.. and all my symptoms just went away for nearly 10 years. I didn't need medication, I wasn't placed on a special diet, and I was able to eat/drink whatever I felt like with no 'symptomatic' consequences. Its like my immune system went a little haywire, and the steroids kicked it back into a 'normal' (perhaps nominal or typical is better term) state of digestive health. Was I 'cured'? Well, that's a pretty 'subjective' term. It eventually all came back, so I don't think that 'cured' is a fit term for it. (think anyone with IBD is leery of the term 'cured'). So, to me... remission is a state where life goes back, even if its only temporary, to where it was before I became symptomatic (and diagnosed)... After my 10 year hiatus from IBD, my next remission lasted 5 years... the next one lasted about 4 - 5 months (post op).. the last one lasted less than 2 months... (looking at it from my perspective, those diminishing returns seem pessimistic, but just because in my case each 'remission' lasted way less than the previous one is not something I find alarming - figure with each 'relapse' I learn more about IBD, AND everybody is different - so the next person with IBD may experience just the opposite). Now, the confusing part of this illness (at least from my vantage point) is that I have good spells (where I remain symptomatic but continue to improve or avoid 'flare-ups') by following my regimen of medication and diet, etc. etc, and I've also experienced 'bad' days (sometimes without warning, others where I've failed to follow a regimen that typically works - ie missed some meds, broke my diet, etc) AND sort of 'blah' days... where I'm neither going uphill or down, just standing pat where I am despite being a good boy, eating right, taking my meds, so on...

Again, this is all very 'subjective'... based purely on how I see my illness and it's course/direction. Others may have a totally different take on it. I do recall that I felt absolutely fantastic when, after my most recent op, my surgeon at the time told me I was 'cured'.. He told me that I had a rare form of diverticlur associated colitis, and that surgically removing that area of my colon meant that I was cured, I could go home, recuperate, and forget all about colitis, crohns or otherwise. It lasted approx 7 - 8 weeks. When it all came back, out of the blue, I just wasn't prepared for the depression I felt... Now I've been diagnosed with an 'incurable' form of colitis, I've come to terms with that. The word 'cured' is no longer part of my vocabulary, and I accept/acknowledge that... And am comfortable with concept
(or my own definition of it) of achieving, prolonging and maintaining 'remission'. OK


for me remission means Im not bleeding every day. I have really really great days when I dont even think about where the washroom is :)
I still have a lot of days of cramps, D, not wanting to eat... etc.. but I will take it. not in the mood to go back to the way it was before.
that being said though.. even though Ive been told Im in remission, I def know when Im due for my next remicade infussion.



to me remission is pain n med free :hugs:
To me remission is when your life goes back to almost normal again. I consider myself to have remission right now because I am gaining back weight and do not really have many symptoms.

Good luck


I think I agree with Jeff.

I also think that people that flare more severely or regularly, will "take less" as their terms of remission?


Mama Crohnie
I think everyone here has said it well...I know for most that have ostomies they go through remission stage, like myself. This does not mean in any way that I do not have Crohns anymore, as we all know.
My defeniation of Remission is going symptom free of crohn's for more than 1 year..... That is what I call remission.... Most doctors simply call it sysmptom free of crohn's.... They will say hey you haven't been having a lot of trouble... Past 3 months no real bad stuff? Ok your in remission... That's docs for you....