Crohns Disease Treatments

Written by Jacey Harmon
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Crohn's disease is a chronic disorder which there is currently no cure. Instead, treatment of the disease is aimed at reducing symptoms, replacing lost nutrients, and controlling intestinal inflammation. The type of treatment used will depend on a variety of factors--location and severity of disease, response to previous treatment, and complications. Choices for treatment--surgery, drugs, and nutritional supplements--can be utilized as a stand alone treatment or in combination with one another.

Crohn's Disease Treatment

The main goal of drug treatment is to suppress inflammation of the intestines. Reducing inflammation accomplishes two important goals--it allows the intestine to heal and reduces symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Most patients will be given drugs with mesalamine, a substance used for controlling inflammation. Mesalamine-based drugs are typically used to treat mild to moderate symptoms. Corticosteroids are used to treat mild to heavy symptoms but these drugs have significant side effects. Immune modifiers can be used to help reduce the use of Corticosteroids, maintain remission of the disease, and heal fistulas.

Three-quarters to two-thirds of those diagnosed with Crohn's disease will have to undergo some sort of surgery. Surgery becomes a necessity when the patient fails to respond to drug treatment. Surgery cannot cure the disease; it only removes heavily infected areas of the intestine in a procedure called resection. Once the infected section of the bowel is removed, the two healthy ends are connected through a procedure named anastomosis. This procedure may result in many years of symptom free life for the patient, but the disease is likely to reappear at or near the point of anastomosis.

A healthy diet is another way patients can battle Crohn's disease. Many of the effects of the disease cause the body to lose valuable nutrients, water, vitamins, and minerals. Proper nutrition is essential to the management of Crohn's disease. Patients have recognized some foods can cause discomfort or even disease flare-ups. Monitoring your diet, as well as reducing spicy food intake when the disease is active, can help in maintaining disease remission.

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