Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Just a general question...

11-07-2017, 03:22 AM   #1
curiousincanada's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2017
Just a general question...

Hello and good day.

This is a bit long, but it's worth the read. I'm personally curious and a tad concerned about my chances of developing inflammatory bowel disease.

So, a little while ago, I found out through an immediate family member that there is some history of autoimmune and metabolic diseases in my family. Specifically, these diseases consist of psoriasis and gout.

Other illnesses are psychiatric in nature and likely include personality disorders (Narcissistic and Borderline), mood disorders (Bipolar) and anxiety / panic disorders. This isn't mentioning other mental health issues such as substance addictions (alcoholism), the consumption of psychedelic narcotics (1 family member) and addictions to other personal activities (gambling).

I personally have extremely inconsequential eczema, very mild keratosis pilaris and horrible acne. However, I've been able to pass fairly stringent military medical exams in my country in order to assess my medical fitness for service in the near future, and that certainly says something...

Suffice it to say: if my family's history of the aforementioned afflictions is any indication of my own personal genetic predisposition to certain ailments, well then, my genes are downright awful.

With all of this in mind, does it seem likely that I have the genetic makeup for developing inflammatory bowel disorder? I have no known family history of this particular illness at all. However, given that other family members of mine from a few generations separated (two of my great-grandfathers) suffered from autoimmune and metabolic diseases, it has me mildly concerned. I've recently researched autoimmune diseases in general, and I read speculation on a website that having ANY family history of autoimmune diseases can genetically predispose me to developing any given number of them.

I know how catastrophic inflammatory bowel disease is, and my sympathy goes out to all of you who suffer from it. I'm a bit concerned about developing it myself, considering I had a family member with an autoimmune disease.

Do any of you have a known family history of this specific condition? Also, how fast was the onset of it?

Thank you.
11-07-2017, 11:24 AM   #2
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I am the only one in my family with Crohn's disease.
Diagnosed in 1990. On Humira, Imuran, Gabapentin, Colestipol, Synthroid, Lialda. Resection in April of 2010. Allergic to Remicade, Penicillin, Flagyl, Doxycycline. Thyroid issues and psoriasis and neuropathy and mild cerebral palsy. Mild arthritis in my lower back.
11-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #3
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I am the only one in my blood family with Crohn's disease, purely by coincidence I have a step cousin who also has it, but no one else does.

We do, however, have other illnesses in our family , including coeliac disease and arthritis (both things I have and both involving the immune system).

There is a train of thought that says that Crohn's may have a genetic component. but this doesn't mean that it's always passed down or always comes from background's with immune issues. Most of my doctor's have said there's about a 10% chance of another family having Crohn's or being predisposed to it . At present, most doctors appear to agree that having a predisposition to Crohn's does not guarantee that someone will become sick (as it is usually triggered by something ) .

I would try not to worry too much at present, I know this is difficult but if you've got through military medicals then you're obviously in good shape at the moment and at present I see no reason to be concerned unless you begin to show symptoms or an immediate family member develops Crohn's.


coeliac disease/Osteopenia /Crohns/Arthritis/
laperoscopic hemicolectomy 25/06/ 2013

Meds- Vedolizumab, pentasa, Lansoprazole, Vitamin D, prochlorperazine, Oramorph, MST, B12 shots My journey with crohns:

Allergic to - inflectra, aza

Non CD meds - Gabapentin, paracetamol, ventolin
11-07-2017, 12:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2011
I’m the only one with Crohn’s in my family. Funny thing is one of my cousins and my BIL have Crohn’s too. But neither are actually related by blood- just by marriage.

I wouldn’t worry too much. There is a genetic component but not something to dwell on for now. I hope my daughters for example won’t develop it later.
Lindsey (30)
Mom to 2 girls
Diagnosed- Aug. 2011 w/Crohn's
On Lialda and 8 weeks of prednisone currently
Starting Remicade- 1st infusion Nov 20
Tried Asacol, Pentasa and Imuran
11-10-2017, 01:29 PM   #5
my little penguin
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No family history
Ds was dx at age 7
You can have genetic testing but over 100 some genes are linked to increased disease risk
And they keep adding more

So they are not sure

If you see a genetics doctor they could do a counseling session on what would be of concern and what diseases wouldn't

In identical twins or siblings there is 30% risk
But again lots of things have to be just perfect storm

Without a direct relative with IBD
It's hit or miss for anyone

Good luck
DS - -Crohn's -Stelara -mtx
11-10-2017, 03:36 PM   #6
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I reckon it's not wise to do too much research into family medical history - most people will have relatives and forebears with horrendous diseases that have some hereditary component. Just off the top of my head, there's been cancer, serious heart disease, diabetes, motor neurone disease etc etc in my own family and that's a fairly typical list most people could reel off, especially if you're going as far back as great-grandparents. I dread to think what I could be worrying about if I had a full medical history going back about a hundred years! My dad had Crohns and so do I, but my four siblings don't appear to have it, nor do my nieces and nephews.
11-10-2017, 04:45 PM   #7
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There is such a think as a genetic component to IBD, but the link is relatively weak. It's just one more risk factor in a very multi-factorial disease. Exposure to triggering factors, such as infection, inflammation, environmental toxins, etc., many of which are hard to pinpoint and may be completely unknown, plus just plain old bad luck, are probably as big or bigger risk factors for IBD than your genetic make-up.

Like many others, I'm the only member of my extended family with any history of IBD. If and when you develop symptoms of IBD you can begin worrying about it then. In the meantime relax and focus on problems that are real in the here and now. Worrying about remote, theoretical health problems that you don't have is a waste of time and will just make you unhappy for no reason.
11-11-2017, 12:17 PM   #8
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· Stoma
These discussions exist because Crohn's has no known cure, having said that the causes are also unknown at this point. Discussions are good, bringing information out which may one day lead to a cure.
One can worry about it, but its not going to do one bit of good as there are many things that can make us sick.
11-11-2017, 02:26 PM   #9
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IBD does run in my family. My grandmother has a form of it, my mother has diverticulitis, I have UC and one of my cousins also has UC. However, I didn't find that out until sometime later after I was diagnosed. All you can do is the best you can, but we're here too for support along the way. This is why we're here, so please don't be afraid to contact us if need be!
Ulcerative Colitis/IBD 1996, Iritis 2001, Ulcerative Proctitis 2013, Indeterminate Colitis 2016, Remission 2017, Hand Eczema

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Pentasa 1000mg 2xday or Mesalamine DR 1.2gm 2xday, Canasa Suppositories (when needed) 1000mg 1xday, Tylenol 3 with codeine 300-30mg (when needed)

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