Crohn's Disease Prevention & Treatment

Published: February 2, 2012

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How to Prevent Against This

There is no known cure for Crohn's disease. Patients will experience flare-ups followed by periods of remission. A combination of medication, lifestyle changes, diet, and surgery can help keep the disease under control so that patients are able to live a normal life.

Diet Tips

It is recommended that people with Crohn's disease remain well hydrated. Patients should monitor their dietary and fluid intakes to monitor what might be causing flare-ups. After identifying these foods and drinks, a Crohn's patient can regulate diet in order to minimize flare-ups.

Treatment & Relief Methods

Medications and treatment methods are designed to extend periods of remission for as long as possible. Commonly prescribed medicines include antibiotics, steroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

For the most part, medications treat acute outbreaks and infections. Doctors recommend against using medications for an extended period of time since side effects might occur. These side effects include muscular degeneration and a suppressed immune system.

For many medications, the active ingredient is a 5-ASA compound. These drugs are administered in large doses to treat flare-ups and low doses to maintain periods of remission. Steroids are drugs that reduce swelling and suppress the immune system. Steroids have a number of negative side effects including swelling in the face, acne, insomnia, shaking, mood swings, increased appetite, and weight gain. Immunoregulatory drugs are frequently prescribed with steroids. These drugs help prolong remission periods. Antibiotics help prevent flare-ups that result from a bacterial infection in the digestive tract.

An opiate receptor antagonist drug has shown success in initiating periods of remission. These drugs are uncommon on the market and are undergoing clinical trials.

It is recommended that patients try to maintain healthy sleeping patterns. Getting enough sleep can keep patients healthy, strong, and energetic. Avoid smoking as much as possible. Exercise can help patients overcome fatigue.

Common Surgeries

Surgery is necessary when a blockage occurs in the intestine. Surgery is also necessary for treating bowel obstructions, fistulas, and abscesses. In extreme situations, an intestinal transplant is necessary. Surgery carries a high risk since infections can recur at the surgical site. Many patients will have to undergo multiple surgeries. For the most part, doctors try to avoid surgery. No surgery can cure the condition or prolong periods of remission.

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