How to Reduce Inflammation Caused by Crohn's Disease
Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. It can affect the digestive system anywhere from the mouth to the rectum but predominantly affects the intestines. One of the primary causes of Crohn's is when the immune system has an abnormal response to the bacteria which normally reside in the intestines.
Fissures (anal tears)
Fistulas (openings between organs)
Blood in stool
Tests Used to Diagnose Crohn's Disease
- Barium X-ray of the small/large intestine
- Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Blood tests
- Stool Analysis
Your doctor may not do all of the above tests. He/she will do what is necessary to determine if you have Crohn's Disease or a different condition so that you can begin treatment.
What Can Cause a Flare-up?
There are many different factors that can cause your Crohn's Disease to flare-up. Hormonal changes, smoking, and infections can cause flare-ups and inflammation. Another big factor is diet.
Crohn's Disease is a very pervasive condition. It can take you over and hold you captive. Don't let that happen. This is your body. You can take control by being proactive. Talk to your doctor. There are many different types of treatment options. You and your doctor will determine what is best for you, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
There is a wealth of resources out there!
Diet control has been my personal best friend. While I am still a true believer of trial and error on a person to person basis, this book provides excellent recommendations and food choices.
Inflammation in Crohn's Disease
When you are having a flare-up, your intestines become inflamed. This inflammation can be the cause of diarrhea, bloating, tenderness and stomach pain. Depending on the severity of the flare-up and the progression of your disease, these flare-ups can be anywhere from mild and temporary up to severe and constant. If you learn to maintain a proper diet consistently, you may lessen the amount of flare-ups, as well as have an easier time should another one occur.
Keeping the Inflammation Down
Diet and exercise are key factors in keeping your Crohn's at bay. You may also be taking medication prescribed by your doctor but a good diet is important. This condition makes it hard to absorb nutrients, so a diet high in protein and calories can help you get the nutrients you need. If your health insurance and/or budget allow, I recommend a visit to a nutritionist.
The Inflammation From Crohn's Disease Can Cause Tenderness in the Belly
Just like with medicine, everyone is individual and your doctor or nutritionist may recommend something different. This is a general guideline on foods to eat as well as foods to avoid. Typically, it is best to stick to a low-residue, low-fiber diet. By doing this, you will relieve the occurrence of bloating, cramping and diarrhea. Sometimes, finding the foods that work best for you will be trial and error. You may want to keep a food diary so that you will know if certain foods are causing irritation. You will probably want to eat about five small meals instead of three larger ones.
What to Eat to Alleviate Inflammation and What to Avoid.
Foods that will help reduce inflammation
Foods that can cause irritation
Dairy products that are low in lactose.
Lean meats, fish and poultry.
Cooked fruits and vegetables without seeds, skin or hulls.
Drink plenty of water. Hydration is essential.
Foods that are high in calories and proteins
Crohn's Disease Can Be Managed
I recommend that you maintain a communicative relationship with your doctor. Seek out support groups. I have been living with Crohn's Disease for 40 years. I have been able to maintain an active lifestyle and can eat and do what I want (most of the time!) With the right information and resources, you should be able to also!
Organisations and Support for Crohn's Disease
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Randi Benlulu