What is my prognosis?

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There is no cure for inflammatory bowel disease, but the majority of cases can be controlled with the treatments available. It is very important to be aware that somebody with inflammatory bowel disease has exactly the same life expectancy as a person without the condition. It is true that some cases can be very complicated and difficult to control, but fortunately these are very rare.

The number of flare-ups varies between patients and can range between one every few years to several episodes per year. Between 25% and 30% of patients with distal ulcerative colitis may suffer an extension flare-up, i.e., with time their colitis may develop into a condition covering a larger area. On the other hand, around 10–20% of patients with ulcerative colitis require surgery and up to 70–80% of patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease will need to undergo surgery at least once within a 20-year period following diagnosis.

Substantiated information by:

Ingrid Ordas Jimenez
Marta Gallego Barrero

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 4 September 2020

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