Living with Crohn's Disease - Our Helpful Guide and Resource List to Help you Manage..

5 Important Steps To Ensure A Crohn's Free Lifestyle

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in your digestive tract anywhere from your mouth to your bowels. Symptoms are painful and long lasting due to the disease spreading to the deep layers of the bowel tissue. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, ulcers, mouth sores, and perianal disease are often embarrassing and debilitating. However there are 5 steps that you can take starting today that can encourage a symptom free life.

Step One: Be informed
You have a disease but you are not your disease. With Crohn's, symptoms vary between patient to patient. Even though your mother or father might have the disease, your symptoms may be different and you may have different triggers for flare ups. Keeping a food journal is a great way to record and understand your body. Knowing the difference between a symptom of Crohn's or a symptom of another health problem is essential to getting better. A well kept record of what causes flare ups will help you avoid triggers. Understanding what treatments are available to you and being fully prepared for each appointment is essential. Have your close family members and trusted loved ones educated on your disease will also keep you encouraged and motivated to making good choices when it comes down to choosing between fried or grilled.

Step Two: Diet
Even though there is no one diet for all Crohn's patients, there are foods that you should avoid and health foods that you should move towards. Keeping the food journal will help you make those good choices so you remember how certain foods benefited or damaged your system. This is considered the elimination diet.

Step Three: Sleep
Simply put, lack of sleep or disturbances in your sleep cycles will increase inflammation in the tract and cause a variety of problems. You might notice that when you wake up, you have an acid taste in your mouth or there is a sudden case of diarrhea. Sleep disturbances will trigger Crohn's disease relapse so it is of the most importance. Since sleep disturbances can be cause by the symptoms you must take extra steps of avoidance to break the cycle. Avoiding naps, caffeine, alcohol, late-night meals, and watching t.v. late at night will all encourage a healthy sleep cycle. The amount of sleep a person needs varies so making a note in a journal will help your doctor better understand your disease.

Step Four: Exercise
Moderate exercise 3 times a week and being physically fit will help regulate your body to working in the right direction. Doctors who treat the disease say many patients often don't feel like working out, but should try anyway to reduce get their symptoms under control, and avoid diarrhea.

Step Five: Reduce Stress
Stress doesn't cause Crohn's but it sure is a trigger for a flare. To live a symptom free life, a Crohn's patient needs to moderate stress. The sympathetic nervous system acts on the lining of the colon and exacerbates existing inflammation during stress. There is also evidence that stress hormones may help harmful bacteria take up residence in the intestines making symptoms longer lasting.

You Have Just Been Diagnosed with Crohn's - What Now?

Just been diagnosed with Crohn's, what now? If you're like many, when you're first diagnosed with this disease, there will be hundreds of questions circulating through your head you'll want answers to every single one of those questions. You're probably engulfed in a tangle of emotions as you wonder exactly what is going on in your life. Here are some tips that will help those of you who have just been diagnosed with this disease.

Have a Treatment Plan

To start with, if you have been diagnosed with this disease, you must come up with a treatment plan and follow through with it. There are many therapies that are available these therapies can help you mange Crohn's. The disease is caused by inflammation throughout the digestive system and there are medications available that can help treat those symptoms. In order to develop the best treatment plan that fits your needs, you should speak with a physician that specializes in the digestive system or a gastroenterologist.  Mind you, remember, Crohn's can be controlled, but at the moment, there is no cure for it.

Develop a Nutrition Plan

When you have Crohn's, it is important that you develop a good nutrition plan and maintain a healthy weight. The challenge here is that due to the disease, your body may have trouble absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat this all depends on the intestinal inflammation and the symptoms.  Diarrhea, for example, causes your body to lose those important nutrients and gastrointestinal pain, stress and medications may make you lose appetite. Therefore, with all of that in mind, it is important that you focus on foods that contain a large amount of nutrients and drink water throughout the day. Foods that are rich in protein will not only help you heal, but it will also help you maintain your muscle mass.  Good options include eating lean red meat, fish, chicken and eggs. If you are lactose intolerant, you can try low-fat cheese and non-fat milk products as your sources of protein. Regardless, you should have a nice variety of foods in your diet, like vegetables and try to avoid a large amount of sugar.

Try Hard to Manage Your Stress Level

When you are stressed, this can trigger the symptoms of Crohn's.  Therefore, it is important that you manage your stress. When you are feeling stressful, try doing some yoga or go out for a nice walk. Taking a nice stroll in the park is a great way to lift your spirits.  If you are still feeling overwhelmed, you can turn to therapy sessions these sessions can show you how to manage your stress.
In the end, educating yourself on this disease would be helpful. Around 700,000 people in the USA have this disease, so you are certainly not alone. Learning all you can about Crohns, such as the procedures, treatments and tests will make you an active participant in the treatment decisions.  The more aware you are about this disease, the more prepared you will be when it comes to challenges.

What The Heck Is Crohn's?

If you are just now hearing about Crohn's disease, you're probably confused and need an explanation. Okay, so what the heck is crohn's disease and why are so many people complaining about it? This is a disease that has numerous conditions attached to it conditions that are often mistaken for some other disease.  Today, we are going to give you a complete rundown so that you understand what the heck crohn's disease is.

What is Crohn's Disease?

When an individual is dealing with this disease, their immune system will start to attack their healthy cells that are located in their GI tract. In return, this will cause inflammation. Being that this is a disease that takes place in the immune system, it is classified as being an autoimmune disorder. What does this mean? When an individual has Crohn's, their body will produce antibodies that go against itself. Along with Crohn's disease, other autoimmune disorders include ulcerative colitis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Who Can Get it?

Any one of any age can get it, however, it can pop up during the teenage years. Mind you, this doesn't mean it won't pop up during your adult years. On another note, it is rare for a child to have the disease.
What's the Problem with it?
Having crohn's disease will make your life very problematic. The most common area that is affected by the disease is the ileum, which is the last part of your small intestine.  This disease causes inflammation, which spreads into the layers of the bowel tissue, causing an extreme amount of pain and discomfort. Yes, it can even cause complications that are life-threatening.

Symptoms

There are various symptoms, but the first signs include:
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
Fatigue
Cramping in the abdominal region
Nausea
Mind you, these symptoms aren't there every waking hour, they can come and go at any given time.

Other symptoms that may be present, but are not common include:
Skin rash
Bloody stool
Fever
Joint pain
Mouth ulcers
Constipation

What Causes the Disease?

At this point in time, even though a large amount of research has been conducted, no one knows exactly what the cause of Crohn's is.  Scientists believe there are a combination of factors that cause this disease. These factors include:
Genetics
Environmental factors
Immune system issues

If you have this disease, you could have inherited the gene, then something could have happened in your life that triggered this gene, which caused an overreaction and in return, an inflammation happened in your intestines.

Is There Treatment Available?

Currently, there is no cure for this disease, but there are treatment options available that can help keep it under control you may even choose to change your diet and eat food that is more friendly to your body.

So, what goes on in the body? Inflammation is the body's natural response to any form of abdominal stimulation, such as an infection or injury. When the body works in order to fight off an infection, pain, redness and swelling can occur. Crohn's may not have a cure, but that doesn't mean you cannot control it.
 

Help with Crohns Symptoms.

(Our Infographic for 5 steps to Crohn's well-being)

Video for Crohns Disease

(Play our Video about Crohn's - Click Above)

Three things to help.

(Read our Diet, Excersize and Supplements Page)

Return to LWIPRO