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Crohn’s Disease: All You Need to Know

Nothing will ruin your day faster than an upset stomach, but with an affliction such as Crohn’s disease it can be worse. Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel syndrome that can produce severe abdominal pain and tenderness, as well as other complications. While it is relatively common, there is no cure so those who suffer can only treat their symptoms. How exactly does one go about living their life with Crohn’s disease?



Crohn’s disease

Identifying Symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a disorder in which our intestines become inflamed and can lead to a multitude of negative symptoms. The most common symptom of Crohn’s disease is severe abdominal pain, but Crohn’s disease can affect different people in different ways. The Mayo Clinic identifies several symptoms of Crohn’s disease (other than abdominal pain) that include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Bloody Stool
  • Reduced Appetite and Weight Loss

While severe Crohn’s disease is associated with the abominable area it can have an effect on other parts of your body. Inflammation of the eyes, skin, and joints as well as the liver or bile ducts can be symptoms of severe Crohn’s disease. Even though there is no cure for this disease, there are treatments that can allow for a reduction in symptoms and even can lead to remission.

Treatments of Crohn’s disease

Since there is no cure for this disease, we must seek out treatments to help alleviate and minimize the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome. The goals of any treatment for Crohn’s disease are reducing inflammation, alleviating pain, minimize diarrhea, and eliminating/minimizing nutritional deficiencies by taking proper Nutrition. Prescription drugs such as anti-inflammatories or corticosteroids, antibiotics, and biologics are all at your doctor’s disposal. Another form of treatment is the use of immunomodulators and immunosuppressants. These are drugs that alter the immune system since Crohn’s disease is often seen as an immune system disorder. Immunomodulators change the way the immune system operates and immunosuppressants decrease the immune system.

 

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Diet for Crohn’s disease

Those suffering from Crohn’s disease need to modify their diet and should seek the help of an experienced dietitian. It’s a good idea to increase your fluid intake, either water or Pedialyte, since one of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease is chronic diarrhea which can dehydrate you. While not every sufferer may be affected by certain foods, those with Crohn’s disease should avoid foods such as:

  • Cream sauces
  • Butter/Margarine
  • Deep-Fried Foods
  • Corn
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Dairy

Some of these foods may only affect you during an outbreak, so keep a food diary to track what affects you and when. A good rule of thumb is to eat softer, bland foods and avoid spicy food while eating smaller meals more often. Crohn’s disease can rob your body of vital nutrients, electrolytes, and vitamins that can be minimized with the use of supplements such as:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
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You can also ask your doctor if the use of probiotics might be appropriate for you. These are good bacteria that can help eliminate gut inflammation.

Crohn’s disease requires a multifaceted approach to treatment. Each patient is different and may require a slightly different approach to living with this disorder. You should work with your doctor and dietitian to find the right approach for you and your specific case.

 

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