Crohn's disease - Kids & Teens
Treatment plan for Crohn's disease
How can I make the most of my treatment?
Once you are feeling better, it is important to keep your symptoms
from coming back. Although the causes of a relapse (return of
symptoms) are unknown, there are some things you can do to help
a healthy diet. Each person is different when it
comes to diet and Crohn’s disease. The best thing to do is to
talk to your doctor or nutritionist about what you can or can’t
eat. Their suggestions will depend on which part of your gut is
affected. Most importantly, follow a healthy and balanced diet
with plenty of nutrients and vitamins. These recommendations are
suited to the needs of the individual and therefore are
different for every person. You should discuss them with your
your medicine, even if you start feeling better or if
you think it isn’t working as well as it used to. Talk to your
doctor before making any changes on your own, and remember that
treatment may take time to work so don’t give up too soon.
mistake people make is to decide to stop taking their medicine
without telling their doctor once their symptoms go away.
Don’t make this mistake, as you need to keep taking your
medicine to help keep your symptoms from coming back. If you are
unsure, check with your doctor.
changes in your life, such as school, sport, when
you have meals, etc., which affects your ability to take your
medicine, discuss this with your doctor so any changes in your
treatment plan or medication can be made. (For example, if you
find you have trouble swallowing pills, ask about other ways you
might be able to take your medicine instead.)
If you have
other health problems, it is usually okay to take
other medicines at the same time as your Crohn’s disease
medicine. However, use care with some over-the-counter
medications such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs or paracetamol). If you are unsure, check with
your doctor or a pharmacist first.
positive. Although stress cannot cause Crohn’s
disease, it can affect your symptoms. If you are feeling upset,
talk to a family member or friend. It may help to see a
counsellor for emotional support to help you with your feelings.
If you plan
to travel, consider asking your doctor for a letter
outlining your medical condition, in case you need to get
medical attention in another city or country. You could also ask
your doctor write down a brief plan for what to do if you become
unwell while you are travelling. Also, be sure to bring your
doctor’s contact information with you, and plan ahead to find
out who to contact or where to go if you have any medical needs
while you are travelling. Helpful travel information for some
countries is available at the EFCCA website (http://www.efcca.org).
What else can I do?
you have mild disease, don’t worry about the section on stoma care –
you will have to have had surgery to have a stoma.
If you need to have a stoma, perhaps after an ileostomy, the bag
(or pouch) must be emptied several times a day. It can, however,
be hidden with clothing and is not usually noticeable. Some
people worry that there will be a smell from the stoma, but this
is not usually a problem. Your doctor or nurse can tell you how
to care for your stoma, and tell you about support groups run by
other people who also have stomas to help answer your questions.
groups: Joining a support group can help you find
other people in your area for education, help and guidance. Many
people say that meeting others with similar medical conditions
can be very helpful, as well as fun. To find a support group in
other countries, one can contact EFCCA (http://www.efcca.org).
mineral loss: Crohn’s disease has been linked to loss
of bone mineral and hip fracture (possibly due to the use of
corticosteroids) avoiding dairy foods, poor nutrition and the
inflammation in your digestive system. Your doctor may tell you
to have your bone density checked regularly with a scanning
machine called a DEXA. If bone density is low, treatment may be
needed. Additionally, you can take steps to prevent bone loss,
Regular weight-bearing exercise
such as brisk walking, jogging or aerobics
Get more calcium and vitamin D,
and also possibly vitamin K
Consider daily treatment to help
stop any inflammation