Crohn's disease is a chronic condition that causes serious inflammation and scarring of your digestive tract. Most importantly a person can develop Crohn's Disease at any age, regardless of whether they have a predisposition to the disease or not. Most people are diagnosed before the age of 30, however, this does not mean it's impossible to get it when you're older.
While we don't yet know its main cause, we do know how to treat it. Some of the simplest lifestyle changes can go a long way for those who are suffering from Crohn's disease. Key things such as having a diet consisting of little amounts of dairy, caffeine, and greasy foods can lead to less irritation of the digestive tract and prevent some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of Crohn's disease.
Smoking and alcohol are terrible (for lack of a better word) for Crohn's disease and increase the risk of needing emergency surgeries and the frequency of flare-ups. The most beneficial thing you can do is to follow your recommended treatment plan and communicate with your doctor what is and isn't working for you.
Your treatment may vary depending on the severity of your case.
Crohn's disease isn't something that can be 'cured', but rather is treated with the goal of sending the disease into remission and then maintaining that remission afterward. However, it is important to note that remission may not be always achievable, which will then shift the goal to reducing the severity of flare-ups and symptoms. Some standard treatments to Crohn's disease include:
Antibiotics to prevent bowel infection
Antidiarrheal medication to stop diarrhea
Biologic treatments that introduce anti-bodies to fight inflammation
Surgery to correct holes in the intestines
Suppressors to reduce inflammatory responses
Crohn's disease can come with many serious risks, including increased risk of colon cancer, anal fissures, liver disease, arthritis, and other related extra-intestinal diseases.
These risks can be avoided by maintaining a healthy diet and following your doctor's recommended treatment plan.
Always consult your doctor if you believe your condition has changed and regularly get screened every few years for chronic conditions such as colon cancer.
A healthy outlook on living with Crohn's disease is also a very important factor. Stress can affect flare-ups and lead to discomfort. A positive outlook is good on many levels for everyone and will further add value to most people with Crohn's disease who live happy and healthy lives.
Results may not be instant but following your treatment plan can help you lead a healthy lifestyle.