Common Questions About Crohns Disease

Crohns Disease can be managed and treated.
If you have been recently diagnosed with Crohns Disease or are the caregiver for someone that has, you probably have lots of questions. This somewhat unfamiliar medical condition can seem overwhelming and confusing. However, there are ways to manage and treat this condition. Educate yourself on options, but keep in mind educating yourself is not a substitute for medical treatment. Making an appointment to see your health care provider is the number one step you should take. Here are some common questions and answers about Crohns Disease. 

1. How did I get Crohns? While the exact cause of this is not known there are some risk factors which are well documented. If you have a first degree relative with any type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), you will automatically be at higher risk for contracting this. Also, if you are of European or Jewish descent, you may also be at higher risk. Finally, studies indicate smokers are at much higher risk for contracting this.

2. Is there a medication which will treat my symptoms? Because this is an auto immune disease it is important to know there is not a “one size fits all” treatment when it comes to medications. There is a variety of different medications which doctors can use to treat your symptoms. These can include but are not limited to: Aminosalicylates (5-ASA), Corticosteroids, Immunomodulators, and Antibiotics. All of these medications will be used in an attempt to modulate or change your immune system. The type of medication prescribed will depend heavily on your current health status and what other types of medications you are already taking.

3. Are there other treatment options? Your doctor will probably also recommend other dietary and lifestyle changes. Keep in mind while stress does not cause Crohns disease it can make it worse. Using yoga, meditation and other stress reducing techniques can be beneficial. Your doctor will most likely have you see a nutritionist to determine what type of changes should be made to your diet in order to improve your symptoms. Most patients with this condition are advised to reduce or avoid greasy foods, high-fiber foods, roughage, wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. 

4. Are there complications which can occur from this conditions? Unfortunately the short answer to this questions is-yes. There are problems that can occur especially if the Crohns is left untreated. These can include but are not limited to: arthritis or joint pain, eczema, mal-absorption, malnutrition, osteoporosis, ulcers, strictures, fistulas, fissures, and abscesses. This makes it crucial you report any new symptoms or complications from treatment to your health care professional immediately so they can be treated and dealt with.

5. Can I continue on with my normal activities? Many people fear when they are first diagnosed they won’t be able to continue on with their normal activities. Keep in mind while it can take some time to get your symptoms under control they are manageable. In addition, your health care professional can help to guide you in management strategies. In addition, you should seek out additional information and support both on and offline. 

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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