WHAT IS CROHN’S DISEASE?
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body overreacts to substances or tissues in the GI tract that it does not recognize as its own. This results in uncontrolled inflammation of the digestive tract, anywhere from the mouth to the anorectal area.
What are symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
- GI bleeding
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Eye redness
- Canker sores
- Night sweats
HOW IS CROHN’S DISEASE TREATED? HOW DO I MANAGE CROHN’S?
Unfortunately, we do not yet know what causes Crohn’s disease, and there is no known cure for the condition. However, there are therapies that can significantly reduce Crohn’s symptoms, and for some, even help with long-term remission. It’s best to speak to your gastroenterologist to discuss your symptoms, as he or she will be able to provide treatment options, such as medications. In addition, certain tips may help you manage Crohn’s disease.
Keep track of which foods you tolerate well and which ones make your Crohn’s symptoms worse,
Try eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of a larger breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
Pay attention to hydration – with diarrhea being a common symptom of Crohn’s, it’s very likely that those who experience this symptom are dehydrated.
Do you smoke? Tobacco use can worsen symptoms – avoid cigarettes in order to help soothe Crohn’s.
Always take medications prescribed by your doctor even if you are not experiencing Crohn’s symptoms. Skipping doses can cause a flare-up.
If your doctor prescribes antibiotics for any reason, including management of Crohn’s, be careful about your alcohol intake. Consumption of alcohol combined with certain medications can worsen your Crohn’s symptoms.
Over-the-counter medications, even those that state they treat Crohn’s disease, can worsen a symptom flare-up.
It’s essential that Crohn’s patients speak with their physician to discuss the severity of their symptoms and frequency of flare-ups.
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