Digestive Health

How to live your best life with Crohn's disease

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Learn what happens after a Crohn’s disease diagnosis and find expert advice on managing your symptoms so you can start living your best life.



By Adam B. Gorelick, MD, Gastroenterology, Nuvance Health


You may feel overwhelmed after a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, but there are steps you can take to help better manage this chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Learn about the personalized treatment options available to you so you can begin to feel better and live your best life. 


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Treatment options for Crohn’s disease


After a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, several treatment options are available to you to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Treatment plans are typically personalized based on the severity of your condition and individual needs. Here are some common treatment approaches that can help you better manage life with Crohn’s disease:


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  • Medications for symptom management: Medications play a crucial role in controlling inflammation and reducing symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids and aminosalicylates are often prescribed to decrease inflammation in the intestines. Immunomodulators and biologics may also be used to suppress the immune response and prevent inflammation. Consistent use of medication to treat Crohn’s disease is important and can help reduce hospitalizations and surgeries. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment options available to you.


  • Lifestyle changes and dietary recommendations: Making lifestyle changes can help you better manage symptoms and promote overall well-being. It’s important to maintain a well-balanced, easily digestible diet. Some people may benefit from avoiding certain foods that trigger symptoms. Regular exercise, stress management techniques and adequate sleep are also key in managing the disease. Learn more about nutrition counselling at Nuvance Health.


  • Surgical interventions and their benefits: In certain cases, surgery may be necessary to alleviate symptoms or treat complications associated with Crohn’s disease. Surgical interventions can include removing damaged sections of the intestine, repairing fistulas or strictures or draining abscesses. Surgery can provide long-term relief and improve quality of life if you suffer from severe or persistent symptoms. Speak with your doctor about surgery to find out if it’s the best option for you. Find out more about colorectal surgery.


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Living with Crohn’s disease


Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease can be overwhelming and may leave you with many questions about what to expect in the future. Understanding how to manage flare-ups and disease progression, finding emotional and psychological support and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are crucial aspects of living with Crohn’s disease.


  • Managing flare-ups and disease progression: Flare-ups can vary in intensity and duration, but with proper management, their impact can be minimized. By working closely with your healthcare team, they can help develop a personalized treatment plan that may include medications, dietary adjustments and lifestyle modifications to alleviate symptoms and prevent disease progression.


  • Emotional and psychological support: Dealing with a chronic illness such as Crohn’s disease can take a toll on your emotional well-being. It’s important to seek support from loved ones, join support groups or consider therapy to cope with the challenges and uncertainties that come with the condition. Talk to your doctor about the resources and support services available to you so you can better navigate the emotional aspects of living with Crohn’s disease. Learn more about behavioral health at Nuvance Health.


  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can play a significant role in managing Crohn’s disease. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting regular exercise and managing stress levels. Talk to your doctor about the comprehensive guidance on nutrition, exercise and stress management techniques that can help you maintain overall wellness while living with Crohn’s disease.


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Support and resources for people with Crohn’s disease


Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease can be daunting, but remember, you don’t have to face it alone. Numerous support systems and resources are available to help you navigate life with this condition.


Finding a supportive healthcare team is crucial after Crohn’s disease diagnosis. A healthcare team specialized in gastroenterology can provide the necessary expertise and guidance to manage your symptoms effectively. They will collaborate with you to develop a personalized treatment plan and monitor your progress over time.


Learn more about the Digestive Health Institute at Nuvance Health.


Connecting with support groups can also be beneficial. These groups consist of people who have firsthand experience with Crohn’s disease and can offer valuable insights, advice and emotional support. They provide a safe space to share your concerns, ask questions and gain a sense of community.


Accessing educational materials and online communities can further enhance your understanding and coping abilities. Many organizations, including Nuvance Health, offer educational resources such as blog articles and videos that provide comprehensive information about Crohn’s disease. Online communities and forums enable you to connect with others facing similar challenges, share experiences and learn from their journeys.


Remember, support and resources are essential in managing Crohn’s disease. They can empower you to make informed decisions about your health, cope with the emotional impact of the condition and find solace in a community that understands your experiences.


Research and clinical trials for Crohn’s disease

Research and clinical trials are vital for advancing our understanding and treatment of Crohn's disease. Scientists and medical professionals are constantly striving to find new and improved ways to manage this chronic condition.


One of the latest advancements in Crohn’s disease research is the exploration of personalized medicine. This approach considers an individual's unique genetic makeup, environmental factors and disease characteristics to develop targeted treatments. By understanding the specific factors that contribute to a person’s Crohn’s disease, researchers can develop more effective therapies that can potentially minimize symptoms and improve overall quality of life. Learn more about Crohn’s Colitis Foundation’s Clinical Trials Community


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. These trials are crucial for testing new medications, therapies and procedures. Participating in a clinical trial not only gives you access to cutting-edge treatments, but it also allows you to contribute to the scientific knowledge surrounding Crohn’s disease. Your participation can potentially help others in the future by providing valuable data and insights.


Contributing to scientific knowledge is of utmost importance when it comes to Crohn’s disease. By participating in clinical trials and research studies, you become an active part of the journey towards finding better treatment options. Your involvement can make a significant impact on the lives of people living with Crohn’s disease, as well as future generations.


Bottom line: Receiving a Crohn’s disease diagnosis can be daunting, but understanding the disease and its management options can empower you to lead a fulfilling life. From understanding how symptoms impact you to exploring treatment options and lifestyle changes, there are various ways to manage Crohn’s disease effectively. By staying informed, seeking support and actively participating in research, you can navigate life with Crohn’s disease with confidence and hope for a better future.


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