Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory gastrointestinal condition that can range from mild to severe. In fact, the most severe conditions can lead to death.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic illness that can affect all ages. At times, it can be highly stressful, but there are ways you can manage the condition. According to the Crohns & Colitis Foundation, over 3 million Americans suffer from Crohn’s. A number of factors can play a role in the cause of the disease: immune system, genetics, environmental factors, and even diet.
Crohn’s is set off by an abnormal immune system response. Under ordinary circumstances, the immune system attacks and kills foreign invaders. However, the bacteria in Crohn’s sufferers is mistaken for bacteria and other foreign agents. The cells that travel out the GI tract cause inflammation and kill bacteria and viruses. In Crohn’s sufferers, the inflammation does not go away. It leads to more problematic symptoms like intestinal wall thickening and ulcers.
While Crohn’s can be painful, millions of Americans deal with it on a daily basis. The best defense for Crohn’s is taking your medications. Whatever your doctors prescribe for your symptoms, you should take it every day to relieve the symptoms. Once you get on a schedule, the symptoms will decrease.
In addition to medications, there are other things Crohn’s sufferers can do that could impact symptoms:
Exercise is said to do wonders. Staying active helps boost energy and it also makes your immune systems stronger. Exercise can also do things like increase digestive tract activity and improve depression. Another unfortunate symptom of Crohn’s is the effect it can have on your mental health. Excercise could give a much needed mental boost.
There are many reasons to quit smoking. Crohn’s disease is definitely one. There is a direct link between cigarette smoke and inflammation. In fact, smokers have a much higher chance of developing the disease in the first place. So, Crohn’s sufferers should stop smoking immediately. In addition to Crohn’s, there are many other medical conditions that can be brought on by smoking. So put the cigarettes down immediately.
Alcohol consumption can be just as bad. Drinking can also cause inflammation and make your symptoms even worse. Drinking may also interfere with your medication. It can make you ill or lessen the effectiveness. If you drink, you should stop or curtail it as much as humanly possible.
A lot of Crohn’s sufferers suffer from stress. It’s like a catch-22: Crohn’s triggers stress, and stress can trigger Crohn’s symptoms. Managing your stress levels can help you live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, sleep, breathing, exercising, mediation, and even yoga can help. Once you get more in tune with yourself, you can lessen what affects your body in a negative manner.
Check your diet. Certain foods can definitely have an effect on Crohn’s symptoms. It may be best to keep a food diary for a while. This way you can keep track of what you’re eating and also determine which foods are triggering symptoms.
In general, spicy foods, dairy products, and caffeine are the main things that trigger symptoms. Certain fats can also do it so cut back on them if you are eating too much. And while fiber is usually very good for you, it can also worsen symptoms. And don’t be a glutton. Instead of 4 large meals, eat 5 or 6 smaller ones. Trying to ingest too much food can also be bad.
Last but not least, hydrate. There are many advantages to drinking water. And it can go a long way in terms of quieting those pesky Crohn’s symptoms. And water means water, not sodas, juices or other sugary drinks that can trigger symptoms.