Did you know that the majority of people who have Crohn's disease find out before they reach age 30? It's true!
What is Crohn's Disease?
This inflammatory disease impacts the lining digestive tract.
Although there aren't any known ways to completely cure Crohn's disease, there are a number of treatments that reduce the severity of symptoms in order to help people lead normal lives.
What are the Symptoms of Crohn's Disease?
- Abdominal pain
- Mouth sores
- Loss of appetite
Other important symptoms include:
- Symptoms for Children: One common occurrence in children that are diagnosed with Crohn's disease is delayed physical development into sexual maturity.
- Severe Symptoms: If you are experiencing blood in your stool, long-lasting fevers, drainage from the anus, or any other severe symptoms, you should see a medical professional immediately.
What are the Complications of Crohn's Disease?
Unfortunately, severe cases of Crohn's disease can be fatal. The pain experienced by those with Crohn's disease is alarming, and the symptoms are hard to manage. If Crohn's disease is left untreated, the condition could result in any of the following complications:
- Bowel Obstructions
- Anal Fisures
- Abscess in the Small Intestine
- Colon Cancer
What are Treatment Options for Crohn's Disease?
What are some treatment options you can discuss with your doctor?...
1. Manage Nutrition
Managing your own nutrition can be complicated and hard. If you've been living with unhealthy habits, it's difficult to change overnight. However, it's important to do so, as managing nutrition can be the single-most effective treatment for this condition for many people.
Why is Managing Nutrition Important?
Managing your nutrition will directly impact how severely you experience symptoms of Crohn's disease. If you disregard nutritional information by eating foods that trigger your Crohn's disease, you'll find that you symptoms get worse.
Most people experiencing minimal side effects from biologics complain about:
- itchiness from the shot
- sinus problems
How Can Biologics Help?
Biologics typically require a doctor's prescription. These drugs contain living organisms and proteins; they work to improve the health of your immune system. Giving the immune system boost, in turn, can help the body better manage this condition.
Surgery is often recommended for people with moderate to severe Crohn's disease.
Why Can Surgery Help?
Over half of the people who are diagnosed with Crohn's disease will try some form of surgery to alleviate their symptoms. Surgery is useful when other treatment methods aren't working.
Potential Side Effects
The most common complications from antibiotics include pus-filled abscesses that form near the anus. There are other complications that require medical attention and surgery to remedy, such as irregular tubes forming from the intestines to other areas of the body.
Why Can Antibiotics Help?
The goal behind taking antibiotics for Crohn's disease? To reduce the amount of bacteria within your stomach and intestine. But that's not all. Antibiotics will help with healing and they'll cut down on the amount of inflammation, too.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Steroids are often prescribed by doctors to reduce inflammation, the defining feature of Crohn's. The side effects for steroids are mild to extreme, including acne and diabetes.
How Can these Medications Help?
Some people don't realize that inflammation is more than an irritating pain; severe inflammation in Crohn's patients will cause diarrhea and other symptoms to worsen. While getting rid of your inflammation won't cure you of Crohn's disease, it can make you feel a lot better.
6. Avoid Trigger Foods
Diabetics and people with allergies need to take special precautions here. In all Crohn's patients, though, avoiding trigger foods can reduce the severity of symptoms and the chances of a flare-up.
Why Should You Avoid Trigger Foods?
Although everyone is different, there are some foods that are known for causing more severe symptoms and flare-ups for Crohn's disease, such as:
- Fried foods
- Dairy products
7. Immune-Boosting Medications
Giving the immune a boost can aid the whole body—including the parts of the body that deal with Crohn's disease.
How Can these Drugs Help?
Since there is no cure for this disease, your doctor may suggest different treatments throughout your lifetime. For example, your doctor may want you to take medications to boost your immune system in order to fight symptoms like inflammation.
Immunomodulators, specifically, are often prescribed to battle Crohn's disease flare-ups. While they are proven to work for many sufferers of Crohn's disease, immunomodulators usually take a few months to start working.
8. Special Vitamins
While vitamins usually have a low risk associated with them, it is advisable to use a high-quality, reliable brand of vitamins. Cheap brands create inferior products that won't help your body heal.
How Can Vitamins Help?
Since there is a chance that you'll need surgery to remove part of your small intestine, taking vitamins can help prepare your body for the healing process.
Some pharmaceutical treatments for Crohn's disease will lower your levels of folic acid and other vitamins that must be replenished by taking high-quality supplements.
9. Self-Care Techniques
This treatment option involves practical steps that you can take in order to treat the symptoms of Crohn's disease. There are no risks involved with this treatment option, so it's worth taking time to implement self-care techniques.
Why Making an Effort to Implement Self-Care Techniques May Help Crohn's Disease
Self-care techniques include nourishing yourself, staying on top of your mood, and finding a way to stay active. Exercise will help keep your body active, and staying active keeps your digestive system moving. Keeping your mood positive will make it easier to commit to the treatment options that you've chosen.
10. Quit Smoking
The best facts about trying this treatment option is that quitting smoking doesn't present any risks. In fact, it's one of the best things you can do for your health.
Why is Quitting Smoking Important?
Smoking is proven to make Crohn's disease symptoms worse, and quitting could have an impact on needing surgery. Stop smoking now to improve the health of your entire body, including your digestive tract.
11. Crohn's Diet Plan
One of the reasons that this treatment option is highly recommended? The risk factor for creating a diet plan is extremely low. As long as you are not replacing foods that trigger Crohn's disease with other foods that do more damage to your body, this treatment option is worth trying. Although, it may be difficult for diabetics and people with allergies to change their diets.
It's always important to run any changes in diet by a licensed professional first.
Why Creating a Diet Plan May Help Crohn's Disease
An effective diet plan will help your body absorb more nutrients. This absorption should reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of the symptoms you've been experiencing.
A good diet plan for those with Crohn's disease consists of a lot of protein and nutritious ingredients, including:
- Whole grains
- Low-fiber fruit
- Peeled fruit
- Lean meats
What's most important to remember about managing this condition?...
Taking Control of Your Crohn's
While some of these treatment options you can do at home, all still require professional guidance. In other words, from diet to undergoing surgery, you should be talking to your doctor every step of the way.
With a little perseverance, you should be able to manage the symptoms of your Crohn's disease. If one treatment option doesn't work for you, it might seem like there's no hope. However, it's important to remain positive by remembering that there are other ways to manage this situation.