Impacting more than a million Americans from adolescence on up, Crohn’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the entire digestive tract. Although it’s not yet curable, Crohn’s is manageable.
Because medical scientists have yet to determine whether Crohn’s disease is inherited or is initiated by a virus or bacterium, it cannot yet be prevented. Previous medical thought was that the condition was brought on by stress and dietary factors, but these are now known to be aggravating factors and not causative.
So, while you cannot prevent this health issue, you can take steps to suppress its most difficult symptoms. Let’s talk about how to prevent flare-ups of Crohn’s disease, and where you can go across California for world-class gastrointestinal care.
What Are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
Although they vary in severity, the symptoms of Crohn’s disease can include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Poor appetite and weight loss
- Joint pain (arthritis-like symptoms)
- Kidney stones
- Blood in the stool
Sometimes, symptoms are very severe, causing periods of debilitating illness. Other times, symptoms may be mild or entirely absent for long periods of time. In other words, symptoms of Crohn’s can unpredictably come and go.
What Can Aggravate Crohn’s Disease?
Certain lifestyle elements definitely impact disease expression and severity of symptoms. These factors include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Diet (high-fiber foods, fatty foods, corn, mayonnaise, chocolate)
- Consumption of alcoholic or carbonated drinks
Can the Onset and Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease Be Prevented?
Many patients who have Crohn’s disease keep a journal to track their symptoms and to determine what triggers tend to cause them. This way, people can avoid the foods, medications, and life stressors that often precipitate flare-ups.
How Can I Manage My Crohn’s?
To help you control your symptoms in dealing with this disease, use these management tips consistently:
- Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, as they are known irritants of the entire GI (gastrointestinal) tract.
- Consume no dairy products, restrict your consumption of fatty foods, and avoid high-fiber foods such as celery and whole grains.
- Avoid gas-producing foods, such as beans, apples, and cruciform vegetables such as broccoli.
- If you have abdominal pain, take acetaminophen rather than ibuprofen, as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can irritate the entire length of the digestive tract.
- Stop all tobacco usage and smoking.
- Practice stress-reduction. Pray. Meditate. Listen to music. Go for a walk, or do whatever helps you relax and takes your mind off anxious thoughts.
Digestive Healthcare and Expert Treatment for Crohn’s Disease Across California
Our board-certified gastroenterologists have expansive diagnostic and treatment skill sets, and we are well-versed in diagnosing and treating Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases. If you have Crohn’s or symptoms that seem to indicate a GI condition, contact us at our inSite Digestive Health Care location near you in California. We’re ready to help you feel your best and to be your healthiest.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with an experienced gastroenterologist, contact our friendly staff today by calling our location near you or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!