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Crohn's Disease Health Center

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Crohn's Disease - Topic Overview

Your treatment will depend on the type of symptoms you have and how bad they are.

There are a few steps you can take to help yourself feel better. Take your medicine just as your doctor tells you to. Exercise, and eat healthy meals. Don't smoke. Smoking makes Crohn's disease worse.

The most common treatment for Crohn's disease is medicine. Mild symptoms of Crohn's disease may be treated with over-the-counter medicines to stop diarrhea. But talk with your doctor before you take them, because they may cause side effects.

You may also use prescription medicines. They help control inflammation in the intestines and keep the disease from causing symptoms. (When you don't have symptoms, you are in remission.) These medicines also help heal damaged tissue and can postpone the need for surgery.

Crohn's disease makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food. A meal plan that focuses on high-calorie, high-protein foods can help you get the nutrients you need. Eating this way may be easier if you have regular meals plus two or three snacks each day.

Having Crohn's disease can be stressful. The disease affects every part of your life. Seek support from family and friends to help you cope. Get counseling if you need it.

Many people with inflammatory bowel diseases look to alternative treatments to improve their well-being. These treatments haven't been proved effective for Crohn's disease, but they may help you cope. They include massage, supplements such as vitamins D and B12, and herbs like ginseng.

Learning about Crohn's disease:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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