Side Effects and Risks
With every medication and treatment option, there might be some side effects and risk involved. We will discuss these side effects and risks with you. However, not treating your IBD adequately also puts you at risk for other unwanted things such as disease flares, complications, hospitalizations and surgery.
Generally speaking, the risk of the disease by far exceeds the risk of treatment, which is something we always need to remember!
The chance of a patient with Crohn’s requiring surgery within 5 years if not treating their IBD effectively is 50%. As well, untreated inflammation in the bowel also increases the risk of colon cancer for patients with Ulcerative Colitis.
Another important point to remember is that everything we do in life has risk, such as driving a car.
1 in 8000 people die in a road accident every year.
The chance of someone dying in any given year from influenza (the disease, not the vaccine) is 1 in 500
We stress to you when discussing the different treatment options with your physician that you don’t allow the side effects to overwhelm you and if you have questions/concerns regarding your treatment that you discuss them with your doctor or nurse. It is our job and responsibility to notify you of the risks, but you still need to remember that we are doing this for a reason - to prevent the much more frequent and severe complications of IBD and to improve your quality of life.