You were in the hospital because you have Crohn’s disease, inflammation of the surface and deep layers of the small intestine, large intestine, or both.
You may have had exams, lab test, and x-rays. A doctor may have taken a sample of your tissue (biopsy) or looked inside your rectum and colon using a flexible tube (colonoscopy).
You may have been asked not to eat or drink anything and have been fed only through an intravenous line. You may have received special nutrients through a feeding tube.
You may have also started taking new medicines to treat your Crohn's disease.
After a flare-up of your Crohn’s disease, you may be more tired and have less energy than before. This should get better. Ask your doctor about any side effects from your new medicines. You should see your doctor on a regular basis.
When you first go home, your doctor may ask you to drink only liquids or eat different foods from what you normally eat. Ask your doctor when you can start your regular diet.
You should eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. It is important that you get enough calories, protein, and essential nutrients from a variety of food groups.
Certain foods and drinks can make your symptoms worse. These foods may cause problems for you all the time or only during a flare-up. Try to avoid foods that make your symptoms worse.
If your body does not digest dairy foods well, limit dairy products. Try low-lactose cheeses, such as Swiss and cheddar, or an enzyme product, such as Lactaid, to help break down lactose. If you must stop eating dairy products, talk with a dietitian about getting enough calcium.
Too much fiber may make your symptoms worse. Try baking or stewing fruits and vegetables if eating them raw bothers you. Eat low-fiber foods if that does not help enough.
Avoid foods that are known to cause gas, such as beans, spicy food, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, raw fruit juices, and fruits -- especially citrus fruits. Avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine. They may make your diarrhea worse.
Eat smaller meals, and eat more often. Drink plenty of liquids.
Ask your doctor about extra vitamins and minerals you may need:
Talk with a dietitian, especially if you lose weight or your diet becomes very limited.
You may feel worried about having a bowel accident, embarrassed, or even feel sad or depressed. Other stressful events in your life, such as moving, job loss, or the loss of a loved one, can cause problems with your digestion.
Ask your doctor or nurse about these tips to help you manage your Crohn’s disease:
Your doctor may give you some drugs to help relieve your symptoms. Based on how bad your Crohn’s disease is and how you respond to treatment, your doctor may recommend one or more of these drugs:
There are many types of drugs your doctor may use to prevent or treat attacks of your Crohn’s disease.
Call your doctor or nurse if you have:
Inflammatory bowel disease - Crohn's disease - discharge; Regional enteritis - discharge; Ileitis - discharge; Granulomatous ileocolitis - discharge
Clark M, Colombel JF, Feagan BC, Fedorak RN, Hanauer SB, Kamm MA, et al. American gastroenterological association consensus development conference on the use of biologics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, June 21-23,2006. Gastroenterology. 2007 Jul;133(1):312-39.
Cummings JR, Keshav S and Travis SP. Medical management of Crohn's disease. BMJ. 2008;336(7652):1062-6.
Sands BE, Siegal CA. Crohn's disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 111.
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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