Growth failure presents in 30 percent of Crohn's disease in children. Growth failure is defined as such: a fall in the height percentile of more than 0.3 standard deviation/year, a growth velocity of less than 5 cm/year, or a decrease in the growth velocity of more than or equal to 2 cm compared with the previous year, during early to mid-puberty.
Growth failure in Crohn's is caused by anorexia and decreased caloric intake. Another consideration would be delayed gastric emptying of solids that may be present in those with Crohn's.
In most cases - I cannot quote numbers - appropriate growth should resume with adequate treatment of the disease. 6-MP is normally used in steroid-refractive disease, being effective in 70 to 80 percent of cases.
You may want to obtain a second GI opinion if this treatment continues to be a concern.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Medscape has some info and I found this link:
you'll have to register for the site, but it's free. that link has the following presentations that I think were from the 2004 Digestive Disease Week
"Altering the Natural Course of Disease in Pediatric Patients" by Jeffrey S. Hyams, MD
"Objectives and Outcomes in the Conventional Treatment of Pediatric Crohn's Disease" Hans A. Buller, MD, PhD
and "Surpassing Conventional Therapies: The Role of Biologic Therapy" Robert N. Baldassano, MD
Dr. Baldassano is at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. he has Crohn's disease himself.
hope this helps. as an adult with CD, I can empathize. I had very active disease starting when I was about 13 yrs old. I'm glad you were able to get a diagnosis. it sounds like you have a good doc that is being pro-active rather than reactive by treating him now maximizing any benefits. CD in kids is so different than in adults.
I have CD and am on Immuran, 100 mg day (2 50's at night before bed). Absolutely no side effects. A friend has a son who at the time was 14 years old and who was diagnosed with CD and he was put on Pentasa and then Pentasa & Immuran. Pentasa alone was giving him headaches, but everybody may react differently. He has grown 4 inches since then - last 2 years. He is right on track. Good luck.