The effects of a Crohn’s flare-up can range from annoying to debilitating, whether one is suffering from stomach cramps, diarrhea, or even a lack of appetite and weight loss. Fortunately, doctors have several options when it comes to treating Crohn’s disease.
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
Although doctors once ruled out stress as a factor in a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, they are now saying that a person’s stress level can sometimes bring on a bout of this unpleasant condition. At the start, doctors may begin by asking a patient to avoid certain foods that can bring about discomfort and to monitor his or her stress levels.
For those whose conditions are not improved by dietary and lifestyle changes, doctors have a variety of medications that they can and often will try. The medications used to treat Crohn’s disease are meant to stop the abnormal inflammation that bring discomfort and damage your intestines.
Corticosteroids, like prednisone and methylprednisolone, suppress the immune system and are often prescribed for moderate to severe symptoms. They suppress the body’s immune response instead of targeting the areas that are inflamed.
By suppressing the immune system’s response to prevent ongoing inflammation, immunomodulators are often an option for those who have not had relief from treatment with aminosalicylates or corticosteroids. Immunomodulators take time to work, but may help to reduce the need for corticosteroids.
A newer option for Crohn’s patients, biologic therapies are created in a laboratory and stop the body from causing inflammation.
Not everyone responds to the same treatment in the same manner, and in some cases, a doctor may recommend a combination of treatment protocols, like adding a biologic treatment to a current immunomodulator treatment.
Only a doctor can diagnose Crohn’s disease, and only a doctor can prescribe the corticosteroids, immunomodulators, or biologic therapies needed.