Treatment plan for Crohn's disease
How can I
make the most of my treatment?
you have your Crohn's disease under control, it is important to keep it
under control and stop symptoms from coming back. Although the causes of
a relapse (return of symptoms) are unknown, there are some things you
can do to help prevent it.
Recommendations will depend on which part of your intestine is
affected. Most importantly, follow a healthy and balanced diet with
plenty of nutrients and vitamins. These recommendations are suited
to the needs of (and therefore different for) every person. You
should discuss them with your nurse/doctor.
Stick with your treatment plan,
even if you start feeling better or if you get discouraged. 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.
Another common mistake people make is to stop treatment on their own
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.
something changes in your life,
such as work, sport, when you have meals, etc., which affects your
ability to take your medicine, discuss this with your doctor so any
necessary adjustments in your treatment schedule or medication can
be made. (For example, if you find you have difficulty swallowing
tablets, ask about other formulations of your medication.)
you have other health conditions, it is generally okay to
take other medicines at the same time as your Crohn's disease
medication. However, use care with some over-the-counter medications
such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or
COX-2 inhibitors. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or a
Develop a support system
with family, friends and other people with Crohn's disease to help
ensure that you have someone to turn to when you need motivation and
Although stress cannot cause Crohn's disease, it can affect your
symptoms. If you are feeling emotionally strained, consider finding
support or even asking to see a counsellor for emotional support to
help you cope.
you are planning 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 might also consider having your doctor write down a
brief plan for what to do if symptoms arise. Also, be sure to bring
your doctor's contact information with you, and research 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).
you are using complementary treatments (T'ai Chi,
acupuncture, supplements), do not stop your Crohn's disease
medication as these are not a substitute. Be sure to tell your
healthcare professional about any complementary treatments you are
cautious about misleading information
and 'miracle cures' that can lead you astray and raise false hopes.
At present, there is no known cure for Crohn's disease. If you read
about something that might be of interest to you, check with your