Whether Crohn’s disease is mild or severe, it causes symptoms that are painful and embarrassing. Crohn’s disease is not curable, but there are many treatments available. Treating Crohn’s usually involves medications and dietary changes and varies according to the severity. Many people who have Crohn’s disease can manage it effectively with the help of medical care and are able to have productive, happy lives.
Mild cases of Crohn’s disease are typically treated with several types of medications. One is an antidiarrheal such as loperamide to slow down or stop the spasms that cause the diarrhea, the most common symptom of Crohn’s. Another is an aminosalicylate, such as mesalamine, which helps to reduce abdominal pain and diarrhea by reducing irritation in the intestines. Patients are advised to reduce or eliminate known triggers from their diet including caffeine, alcohol, and fatty or spicy foods. A low-fiber diet helps reduce the risk of diarrhea, which can irritate the intestines and trigger a flare-up.
For moderate cases of Crohn’s, in addition to an antidiarrheal and an aminosalicylate, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin to reduce inflammation and treat abscesses and fistulas. Antibiotics will usually work if aminosalicylates do not. A corticosteroid such as prednisone may also be prescribed to help reduce inflammation.
Corticosteroids can have serious side effects, however, so a doctor will only prescribe them if other types of medications are not sufficiently managing the symptoms. In some cases, corticosteroids are administered intravenously. As with mild cases of Crohn’s, dietary changes are also advisable.
The best treatment for severe Crohn’s disease is often an immunomodulator medication such as azothioprine.
Immunomodulators suppress and weaken the immune system, keeping the cells in the digestive system from attacking. These medications are used if other medications do not help or if symptoms reoccur frequently. If medications and dietary changes are not enough, a doctor may recommend surgery to remove a damaged area of the intestines and reconnect healthy areas. Once symptoms are under control, medications and dietary changes are used to prevent flare-ups and keep the disease in remission for as long as possible.
In addition to a low-fiber, low-fat diet, eating wholesome, natural foods will eliminate preservatives and toxins and may help prevent flare-ups. Using food combining will also reduce digestive stress and help with Crohn’s disease. Food combining is more than just a way to eat. It is a system of eating the right foods in the right combinations. When you eat foods that do not work together, your stomach must work harder and produce enzymes that conflict with each other. This leads to pain, diarrhea, bloating and gas.
Food combining eliminates this conflict. Your stomach will produce only one type of acid, making digestion easier and gentler for your system. This will help prevent the irritation that can cause Crohn’s disease to become active. To help your body stay strong and healthy, and reduce gastrointestinal problems, try food combining and feel the difference it will make in your life.