Crohn’s Disease is a lifelong illness for which there is currently no cure. While sufferers may experience constant symptoms, for others they come and go every few weeks or months. These are referred to as flare ups and they can prove to be extremely difficult to deal with.
However, there are ways to control and manage these flare ups when they do occur. Below, we’ll look at some of the best ways of managing Crohn’s Disease flare ups in order to live a happier, more comfortable life.
Managing Crohn’s Disease Flare Ups: altering your diet
It is possible to manage as well as relieve the Crohn’s Disease flare ups which occur, through making dietary changes. Of course, this depends upon the severity of the condition, but dietary changes can make a huge difference for many sufferers.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation recommends patients avoid potential triggers when flare ups occur. Refined grains, oatmeal, low fibre fruit, lean meat, oily fish and green tea can all have beneficial effects, particularly when it comes to reducing inflammation. The key is to focus on bland foods which have plenty of nutritional benefits.
However, while the right foods can certainly help, if only to reduce the symptoms of the condition, they may not be enough to properly treat it. So, what other options are available if dietary changes don’t work?
Managing Crohn’s Disease Flare Ups: medication
There are some medications which can be prescribed to control the symptoms. Steroids may be prescribed occasionally to reduce inflammation and most patients find they need to take them every now and again.
Another type of medication sometimes used to combat the symptoms is Immunosuppressants. These are typically prescribed if steroids alone aren’t working. They’re usually taken in tablet form, though injections are also sometimes used.
If neither of these medications is working, biological medicines may be used. These are basically stronger medications which are used on a long-term basis. However, all medications can cause numerous side effects, so these do need to be taken into account.
Could surgery be a good option for managing Crohn’s Disease?
The use of biological medicines to treat the condition has reduced the need for surgery. However, there are still times where surgery may be the best treatment option going forward. If all medicines have failed to treat the inflammation, or if there has been irreversible damage to the intestine, surgery is the next best step.
Within specialist centres, the surgery can be carried out via laparoscopic, or keyhole, surgery. This is much less invasive and requires minimal recovery time. It is highly recommended you talk through your surgical options before deciding which one is right for you.
As you can see, there are numerous treatment options available to manage Crohn’s Disease flare ups. Typically, dietary changes and medications will be used to attempt to control the symptoms before surgery is considered. However, it is estimated that 1 in 10 Crohn’s Disease sufferers will go on to require surgery at some point in their lives. If you want to ensure you’re getting the best possible treatment, it is worth booking a consultation with a bowel specialist.