Guest Post: How to Take an Active Approach in Fighting Crohn’s Disease
Posted Oct 27 2012 11:40am
Today’s guest post comes from Healthline , an excellent source for Health information online. If you’re unfamiliar with Crohn’s disease, this is the post for you to learn more. If you’re newly diagnosed, this is for you as well.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the intestines. It is primarily characterized by ulcerations of the large and small intestines, but the disease can also affect any part of the digestive system. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and anemia. Anemia in people with Crohn’s disease is often the result of bloody stools or low iron levels caused by intestinal inflammation. There are many additional symptoms that people with the disorder may experience from time to time. These include mouth sores, bowel obstruction, anal fissures, and nutritional deficiencies.
There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. Therefore, people who have been diagnosed with the lifelong disorder must battle its symptoms every day. At first, this may seem like a bleak and overwhelming fact of life to face. However, you don’t have to let the disease own you. Instead, you can gain power over your disease by learning more about how to keep your symptoms under control.
Start a Food Diary
Most people with Crohn’s disease will discover that there are certain foods that aggravate their condition. By starting a food diary, you will be able to learn what types of foods you should steer away from and what foods are safe to eat. Be sure to write down what you eat for your meals in addition to any snacks or beverages that you consume throughout each day. Include how you feel after you eat certain types of foods.
Keep in mind that your condition is not caused by certain foods, but that there may be some types of food that your body has a difficult time digesting, which can lead to a flare-up of symptoms. While people with Crohn’s disease will react differently to different types of foods, there are certain types of foods that more commonly cause symptoms. Foods that are high in fat and foods (or beverages) that have a high acidity level are common symptom-inducing foods. Dairy products are another common trigger for Crohn’s symptoms, and cause many people with the disorder to experience increased abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea.
Determine what Medications Work for You
Your doctor will be able to recommend medications that will help you to manage your symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications can provide relief from symptoms as they reduce inflammation of the digestive tract. Keep notes on how certain medications are affecting how you feel. Other medications, such as pain relievers and antibiotics, may also help in managing Crohn’s disease. With time and dedication, you and your doctor will be able to come up with a medication plan that provides the most benefits for managing your condition.
Reduce Emotional Stress
Stress is another common aggravator when it comes to Crohn’s disease symptoms. According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, relaxation techniques such as deep, controlled breathing in addition to achieving restful sleep at night can make a significant different in managing symptoms of the disease.
Participate in a Crohn’s Disease Support Group
While Crohn’s disease is often considered an “invisible disease” since the symptoms are not readily apparent and because many people with the disorder do not speak about their condition, there are support groups out there. Online support groups allow you to participate in group discussions from the privacy of your own home. If you would like to meet up with people who understand what you are going through, search for a local Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) support group. Developing a support system of individuals who can share ideas on how to manage your condition and who will also simply provide emotional support can go a long way in helping to manage Crohn’s disease.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.