Crohn’s Disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and affects millions of people. It typically affects the intestines, but at times can be found anywhere from the mouth to the rectum.
The exact cause of Crohn’s Disease is unknown, however it has been linked to a problem with a body’s immune system response. Because the exact cause is unknown, often times treating Crohn’s Disease can be hard. Symptoms often range from mild to severe and can come and go with flare ups.
Diet and Nutrition
One of the most widely used treatments of Crohn’s Disease is proper diet and nutrition. At this time, no specific diet has been proven to help in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease. Due to the nature of Crohn’s Disease, eating a healthy amount of calories, vitamins, and protiens is extremely important to avoid weight loss and malnutrition.
Certain types of food may worsen symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal cramping, more often during the “active time” of the disease, that is during a flare up. Eat small amounts of food through out the day and drink lots of water. Avoid fatty, greasy, and fried foods if possible and if needed, limit the consumption of dairy.
If you have a blockage of the intestines caused by Crohn’s disease, you may need to avoid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables.
Vitamins And Other Medication
Your doctor may also recommend extra vitamins and minerals to help aide in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease. These range from Iron supplements to treat anemia to Calcium and Vitamin D to keep bones strong.
Your doctor may also prescribe antidiarrheal drugs. You can take OTC Imodium for diarrhea, but make sure to check with your doctor before taking any over the counter medication.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications such as Aminosalicylates that help control mild to moderate flare ups, Corticosteroids, also know as prednisone and methylprednisolone, that helps treat moderate to severe Crohn’s Disease. Medication may also be prescribed to help quiet the immune systems reaction. These medications help reduce the need for corticosteroids and can help in the healing of some fistulas. Antibiotics are typically prescribed for abscesses or fistulas.
In situations in which medication does not prove to be effective, your doctor may perform a surgery known as a bowel resection. This will remove a damaged or diseased part of the intestine or will be performed to drain an abscess.
Most people who are dealing with Crohn’s Disease will eventually need to have surgery at some point. However, it is important to keep in mind, that surgery does not cure the condition.
Unfortunately, currently there is no known cure for Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s Disease is marked by periods of improvement in which you may be able to eat more of the foods that cause problems, followed by flare ups ranging from mild to severe. If you are on medication for Crohn’s Disease, it is very important to remain on your medications long term. Medications can prevent symptoms of Crohn’s Disease from returning. If, for some reason, you need to stop or change your medication, let your doctor know right away.
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