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Have Cronkhite Canada syndrome, coronary artery disease and Meniere's disease. Life expectancy?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 319 Questions
I am a 66 year old non smoking male. I was diagnosed in October 2011 with Cronkhite Canada Syndrome by physicians ay Baylor Medical Center in Dallas XXXXXXX I suffered for over 4 years with almost ceaseless diarrhea, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, etc. I am also an insulin dependant diabetic, suffer from coronary artery disease with 6 stents in the LAD. To futher complicate my life I suffer from bilateral Meniere's disease and have endolymphatic shunts in both inner ears. Did I mention that I have chronic anemia and am at stage 3 kidney disease. I probably left something out. My question is: what is the life expectancy of someone in my situation? None of my attending physicians will hazard a guess. I retired on 5/9 of this year. Some days are better than others.
Posted Fri, 14 Sep 2012 in Diabetes
Answered by Dr. Om Lakhani 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.

The best part of the question you have written is that you are taking it positively with a pinch of humour! Well let’s be fair, you have a truckload of ailments, more than most people, however the best part is you a living with it and taking it positively.

Coming to your question, what is your life expectancy? Well you would have seen in movies doctor telling their patient that they have 3 months to live or something like that but in real life it doesn't work that way. Prognosis is based on statistic which is further based on data available from studies. It is not based on judgement but on hardcore facts. I am sure you would appreciate there is no study that would have mortality stats of Cronkhite - canada + Chronic kidney disease + anemia + Coronary artery disease, so to say the life expectancy in your case is impossible.

Having said that, as long as you keep a good health, take your medicines and continue to treatment you have prescribed you shouldn't have any problem. Once again life expectancy is just a number; the important thing is quality of life that you lead! So stop worrying about the expectancy and live life the best way you can.

Hope this helps

Dr. Om Lakhani
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have Cronkhite Canada syndrome, coronary artery disease and Meniere's disease. Life expectancy? 40 hours later
Thanks you Dr. Lakhani. I certainly agree that it should be more about the quality of one's life than simply how long one survives. I have suffered a great deal over the last five years and had I not found my doctor in Dallas at Baylor MC I probably would have given up the fight by now. He promised that he would never give up the quest to find out what was causing the, by then, debilitating series of ailments. Other MDs had just dismissed me as perhaps a whiner. My symptoms did not fit in that easy little box that they needed it to so it had to be just me. MY long time doctor in Bossier Ciyt, LA knew that I was not faking anything since he had been treating me for nearly 30 years. One can not fake 15 to 20 bouts of diarrhea a day. He was not exactly happy that I was traveling so far for another GI opinion but he certainly understood my desperation. Nothing worked quickly nor consistently but he tried everything that might make sense and perhaps a few things that did not. Between the two of them they stepped up the attack. I had a portacath implanted and started TPN treatments for 14 hours a day and then was able to drop it down to only 12 per day. I am concinced that these saved my life and sanity. I lost the XXXXXXX to a staph infection in my blood stream and am being stuck for IVs of mag and iron on a regular basis. Eventually I was referred to a Hemotologist who was not at all interested in me or my chronic anemia with RBCs in the 9.5 range. I dismissed him and found another who was passionate about what she was doing and promptly started me on a regimin of Procrit which rapidly raised my hgb to the 12 range. Right now I am in a period of "remission". My doc told me quite clearly not to expect it to last but when it does return we will again fight it with all we have. All I have read says that CCs is a "relentless progressive illness with a poor prognosis". I know that I will never be well but I do plan to both fight it and also to follow my doctors' orders. I had to retire because the side effects of the CCS would not allow me to do my job of 44 years. Thanks for your encouraging words and continue to pass the words of not giving up and if the doc you are using is not interested, get one who is. Thank God I found Brandy and DeMarco.
Answered by Dr. Om Lakhani 5 hours later

I am glad that your doctors and you are fighting your condition instead of giving up. Sometimes the will to live does miracles. You are a good example for other patients as well. Keep it up and let me know if I can be of any assistance in future.

Dr. Om Lakhani
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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