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Crohn’s Disease Treatments

While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, there are a wide variety of treatments available for this medical condition. There is no single treatment plan that works for every person who has been diagnosed with Crohn’s, because this illness is very complex.

Pain killers used as a Crohn's disease treatment

Drugs can help control the inflammation caused by this disease, but they may not be suitable for the long-term. The following treatments can help manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease for the long-run. Doctors can make use of one or more of the following depending on the severity of their patient’s illness:

  • Pain Relievers: Acetaminophen can be used to reduce the pain caused by Crohn’s disease. However, patients are not recommended to use ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, as they can exacerbate the symptoms of Crohn’s.
  • Laxatives: Crohn’s disease causes swelling that can narrow the intestines, and this can lead to constipation issues. Laxatives can be used to find some measured relief from these symptoms. You’ll want to discuss this method of treatment with your doctor beforehand, because they could react adversely with your system.
  • Antidiarrheals: Fiber supplements like psyllium powder (Metamucil) and methylcellulose (Citrucel) can help patients suffering from diarrhea. This fiber will supplement the patient’s stool and help relieve their symptoms. If you have more severe symptoms, your doctor might recommend loperamide (Imodium) instead. Either way, you’ll want to discuss this with your doctor beforehand.

Nutrition Therapy for Crohn’s Disease

Doctors may choose to recommend a diet that is specifically tailored for a patient with Crohn’s disease. If symptoms are severe enough, then patients may need a feeding tube (enteral nutrition) or nutrients could be injected into the vein (parenteral nutrition). While this may seem miserable, it can help relieve bowel symptoms and improve the patient’s overall nutrition levels.

In the short term, nutritional therapy can help reduce inflammation, but symptoms may return shortly after normal eating habits return. In most cases, this form of therapy has helped improve the patient’s health prior to a major surgery. Doctors may also suggest a diet low in fiber, especially if the patient faces intestinal blockage as a result of Crohn’s disease.

Surgical Procedures for Crohn’s Disease

Surgery can be a final measure that’s available when medication, lifestyle changes, and other forms of therapy have failed. If necessary, surgeons will remove the affected portion of the digestive tract and then reconnect the remaining sections. During the procedure, any abscesses will be drained and fistulas closed. Segments of the intestine that have narrowed could also be widened to relieve chronic constipation problems.

Incredibly, even these surgical procedures will not yield permanent relief from the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. What’s more, studies have shown that about three quarters of all patients with Crohn’s will eventually require some form of surgery. Talk to your doctor about developing a new course of treatment for your disease, because it won’t be straightforward method.