What Does Remission Mean in IBD?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), comprising Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, is a chronic condition requiring ongoing management to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. One of the primary objectives in treating IBD is to achieve remission, a term that may be unfamiliar to many. So, what does remission mean in IBD? This article explores the concept of remission, its various types, and the importance of achieving deep remission in managing IBD effectively.


Understanding the Concept of Remission in IBD

Remission in IBD is more than just a reduction in symptoms; it's a comprehensive approach that aims to control the underlying inflammation and prevent potential complications. While alleviating symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloody stools is crucial for improving the quality of life, it's essential to address the ongoing inflammatory processes that may be present even when symptoms subside.

Medications and Treatment Plans

To achieve remission, a carefully designed treatment plan is required, which may involve multiple medications and therapies. The severity of the disease determines the choice of treatment, starting with milder drugs and progressing to stronger ones if necessary. In some cases, severe IBD may warrant the immediate use of potent drugs, followed by a transition to milder ones once the disease is under control.

Surgery as a Treatment Option

Approximately half of the individuals with Crohn's Disease may require surgery at some point in their treatment journey. Surgical intervention involves removing the damaged sections of the intestines and reconnecting the healthy areas. This approach helps alleviate symptoms and prevent complications such as bowel blockages.

The Different Types of Remission

There isn’t a universal definition of remission in IBD, as different healthcare providers and IBD centers may adopt varying criteria. However, several remission types are generally recognized and include:

Biochemical Remission

This type of remission occurs when laboratory tests on blood or stool samples reveal no signs of IBD inflammation, such as elevated levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) and fecal calprotectin.

Clinical Remission

Clinical remission is achieved when IBD symptoms have significantly lessened or disappeared completely.

Endoscopic Remission

Endoscopic remission signifies the absence of inflammation as observed during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, where healthcare providers can visually inspect the digestive tract lining.

Histologic Remission

Histologic remission occurs when a biopsy sample is examined, and no inflammation is detected.

Surgical Remission

Surgical remission refers to the absence of active disease and reduced inflammation or symptoms following surgical intervention.

The Importance of Deep Remission

While clinical remission is essential for improving the quality of life, it may not be sufficient for optimally managing IBD. Achieving deep remission, which involves controlling inflammation and addressing the underlying processes, is crucial for preventing long-term complications. Studies have shown that 30-45% of patients with ulcerative colitis who are in clinical remission still exhibit inflammation during endoscopy. This residual inflammation is associated with an increased risk of relapse, future IBD surgery, and other long-term issues, such as colon cancer.

Addressing Residual Inflammation

To achieve deep remission, it's necessary to address any lingering inflammation in the digestive system. This may involve further medication or dietary adjustments. Gastroenterologists may recommend additional treatments to achieve other types of remission beyond clinical remission, thereby reducing the risk of complications.

The Role of Personalized Care in Achieving Remission

Individualized care is crucial for effectively managing IBD and achieving remission. With the help of a dedicated team of registered dietitians and health coaches, patients can receive personalized guidance and support tailored to their unique needs and preferences.

Casa de Sante offers a comprehensive virtual dietitian support platform for individuals with IBD, IBS, SIBO, food sensitivities, celiac disease, GERD, diverticulosis, PCOS, weight loss or gain, autoimmunity, and other digestive disorders. By providing personalized care, expert advice, and specially formulated low FODMAP products, Casa de Sante empowers patients to take control of their gut health.

In addition to personalized meal plans and dietary advice, Casa de Sante also offers comprehensive food sensitivity testing and GI lab services, helping patients uncover the root causes of their digestive issues. Their convenient gut health apps enable patients to monitor symptoms and adhere to their personalized diets, while their educational resources, recipes, and support provide valuable tools for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Begin your journey to better gut health with a free gut health assessment from Casa de Sante. Visit www.casadesante.com now and take the first step towards relief.


Understanding what remission means in IBD is essential for effective disease management. While clinical remission is crucial for symptom relief, deep remission should be the ultimate goal to reduce the risk of complications and improve long-term outcomes. By adopting a personalized approach to care and working closely with healthcare providers and dietitians, patients can achieve and maintain remission, paving the way for better gut health and an improved quality of life.


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