My younger brother (mid 30s) was unfortunately just recently diagnosed with Crohn's. In retrospect he has had lactose intolerance for many years, as well as other symptoms that a GI dismissed as IBS several years ago with no further follow up. He's had these various "IBS" symptoms for 8 or so years, but the diarrhea frequency increased lately and he has finally been appropriately diagnosed with IBD. My diagnosis is and always has been UC, pre and post-operatively, for the last 14 years.
I am curious about other people's experiences with familial occurrences. It's interesting to me that before my own UC diagnosis, absolutely no one in my family had IBD. Neither one of my parents have IBD or any GI issues for that matter. My sister does not have any issues. However, a 2nd cousin has since been diagnosed with Crohn's (at age 13), and a maternal uncle had GI issues throughout life that were never formally diagnosed but after my diagnosis, we suspected could have been IBD. My maternal grandfather died of colon cancer. I am also concerned about one of my nieces who has always had "tummy troubles" but the pediatrician has not so far felt there is any need to investigate further.
I strongly suspect a genetic link but I have often read that there is only about a 30% chance the disease is genetic in that sense, which leaves 70% with no apparently genetic link. Just wondering other's experiences and thoughts on this topic.