Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Crohn's Disease Treatment

There is no cure for Crohn's disease. The goal of treatment is to control the inflammation that causes symptoms, limit the frequency of symptoms, and avoid complications of the disease. In most cases, treatment is directed on avoiding food and stress that can trigger worsening symptoms. Treatment for Crohn's disease includes a special diet and medications that reduce inflammation in the intestine, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid medications, immunosuppressant medications, and antibiotics. Additional treatment may include medications for diarrhea or constipation, pain medications, iron supplements, and vitamin supplements. In some cases of Crohn's disease, surgery may be required to remove a severely inflamed or scarred portion of intestine.

Treatment for Crohn's disease includes:

Crohn's Disease Diet

Important dietary measures for Crohn's include:

  • Eat quality fats: use virgin olive oil and other unsaturated, low-cholesterol fats
  • Increase omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.
  • Eat the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and protein: limit your fat intake to 20 or 30 percent, but don't substitute simple carbohydrates for fat
  • Avoid fad diets: eat a well-rounded diet instead
  • Limit iron intake: too much iron can increase atherosclerosis
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Eat potassium rich foods such as potatoes, avocados, and bananas.
  • Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as starch and fiber. Whole grains and brown rice are good fiber sources. Other sources include:
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Bran
    • Barley
    • Oats
    • Legumes
  • Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins. Some people may benefit from these supplements.
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Maintain a normal body weight

Crohn's Disease Drugs

Drug therapy for Crohn's disease includes:

Crohn's Disease Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of Crohn's disease.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
    • Do I need to gain weight?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Crohn's Disease Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat Crohn's disease:

Continue to Crohn's Disease Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 7, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Crohn's Disease References
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  2. Marrero F, Qadeer MA, Lashner BA. Severe complications of inflammatory bowel disease. Med Clin North Am. 2008 May;92(3):671-86. [18387381]
  3. McKaig BC, Stack WA. Novel approaches to inflammatory bowel disease. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 1998 Jul;7(7):1099-113. [15992018]
  4. Petros JG. Crohn's disease update. Curr Surg. 2000 March - April;57(2):95-103. [16093037]
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