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Common Treatments of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s patients will have frequent doctor’s visits and extreme restrictions on the way they live their everyday lives. This illness can not be cured, however many of the common symptoms can be treated. The following are the most common of treatments for the complications of the disease:

  • Gluten-free diet – As more and more people are being diagnosed with Crohn’s, more and more gluten free products are being placed on the shelves of grocery stores across the country. Sticking to this diet will help avoid painful gastrointestinal problems.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs – Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil and ibuprofen, can treat minor inflammation problems. Prescription drugs such as steroids (corticosteroids) will be used in more extreme cases to avoid further complications. However, constant use of steroids can cause more problems than they treat.
  • Immune system suppressors – Inflammation can be caused by an overactive immune system. Suppressing the immune system can help halt inflammation.
  • Supplements – A common illness that develops from this disease is “anemia.” Frequently taking iron supplements will stop and treat the development of this condition. Crohn’s has also been known raise the risk of developing arthritis or osteoporosis, therefore, calcium and vitamin D taken in combination will help avoid these complications.
  • Surgery – Around 75% of people will need surgery to help with their pain. Pain caused by scar tissue and fistulas in the digestive tract can not always be treated with drugs.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Treatment aims to control symptoms, induce and maintain remission, and improve the patient’s quality of life. It’s important to note that the treatment approach may vary from person to person, and healthcare professionals tailor the management plan based on the individual’s specific condition.

Common treatments for Crohn’s disease include:

  1. Medications:
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs: These may include aminosalicylates such as mesalamine to reduce inflammation.
    • Corticosteroids: These are used to control more severe inflammation. However, they are generally not recommended for long-term use due to potential side effects.
    • Immunomodulators: Drugs like azathioprine, mercaptopurine, or methotrexate can help modulate the immune system to reduce inflammation.
    • Biologics: Monoclonal antibodies such as infliximab, adalimumab, or vedolizumab target specific pathways in the immune system to reduce inflammation.
  2. Nutritional Therapy:
    • Some people with Crohn’s disease may benefit from enteral nutrition, where they receive nutrients through a feeding tube or special liquid diet.
  3. Surgery:
    • Surgery may be necessary in cases of complications like strictures, fistulas, or intestinal blockages. In some cases, a portion of the intestine may need to be removed.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications:
    • Dietary changes may be recommended to manage symptoms, although there is no one-size-fits-all diet for Crohn’s disease. Some people find relief from symptoms by avoiding certain foods or following a low-residue diet.
    • Stress management and regular exercise may help improve overall well-being.
  5. Monitoring and Follow-Up:
    • Regular monitoring and follow-up with healthcare professionals are essential to assess the effectiveness of treatment, manage potential side effects of medications, and make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed.

It’s important for individuals with Crohn’s disease to work closely with their healthcare team to develop a personalized treatment plan based on their specific symptoms and disease severity.

Unfortunately, researchers have not established the exact cause of Crohn’s development, making it difficult for individuals to avoid. However, most doctors agree that genetics play a role. The disease has also been related to taking drugs, such as acne treatments involving the active ingredient isotretinoin.

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