Avoid Common Mistakes When You Have Crohn's
Mistake No. 4: You Don't Keep in Touch With Your Crohn's Doctor
You should be seeing a lot of your gastroenterologist. Go to all your scheduled appointments. It will keep your treatment on track and let your doctor make changes to your medication, if needed.
"Some of the medications we use, such as immunosuppressants and biologic drugs, require monitoring in person. If you're not coming to the doctor as suggested, you could have side effects that are percolating," Cross says.
Mistake No. 5: You Still Smoke
If you smoke, one of the best things you can do for your Crohn's disease -- and your health in general -- is to kick the habit. Not only does smoking increase the chance of developing Crohn's in the first place, but the more you smoke, the greater your risk for flares.
An added bonus of quitting is that you'll lower your odds of getting cancer, heart disease, and other dangerous conditions that are linked to smoking.
Mistake No. 6: You Don't Get Support for Crohn's
Make sure you don't let yourself feel isolated because you have Crohn's.
"I think it's important for people to understand that they're not alone, there are other people who have these diseases," says Joshua Korzenik, MD. He is director of the Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Join a Crohn's disease support group, where you can share experiences with people who've gone through the same challenges. To learn about support groups in your area, contact the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.