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What is a treatment management plan?

How may Crohn's disease affect me?

Treatment options for Crohn's disease

Medications available

Making the most of my treatment

Complementary/ Alternative medicine

Monitoring progress


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Crohn's Disease

Treatment plan for Crohn's disease

How can I make the most of my treatment?

Once 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. 



  • Eat 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.


  • 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.


  • Consider reducing smoking. Evidence shows that it may help your condition to stop or reduce smoking. Speak with your doctor for help with this, and the possibility of starting a no smoking programming.


  • 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.


  • Read the information leaflets to understand how your treatment works and possible side effects to watch out for.


  • Remember to take your medicine every day for best results. Try setting the alarm on or asking a friend to telephone you as a reminder.


  • If 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.)


  • Get regular exercise: Most adults need 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. This includes walking, swimming or bicycling. Find something that you enjoy and use it to help relieve stress as well.


  • Get plenty of rest.


  • Drink lots of fluids throughout the day. The usual recommendation is 8 glasses a day.


  • If 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 pharmacist first.

  • 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 support.


  • Stay positive. 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.


  • If 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 (


  • Another travel tip: If you are travelling to an area where enteric infections are common, you may want to discuss with your doctor the possibility of using antibiotic prophylaxis.


  • If 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 using.


  • Be 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 healthcare professional.



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