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Men's Health

Discharge Instructions for Crohn’s Disease

You have Crohn’s disease. Your digestive tract is swollen and inflamed. All layers of your digestive tract may be affected. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. But you can get treatment for the symptoms. Help manage your symptoms by following your healthcare provider’s advice and watching what you eat.

Home care

Here are some recommendations for taking care of yourself at home:

  • Work closely with your healthcare provider to find the types of treatment that are best for you.

  • Take your medicines exactly as you were told.

    • Let your healthcare provider know if you are having uncomfortable side effects.

    • Don’t stop taking your medicines without talking with your healthcare provider first.

  • It may be helpful to stay away from certain foods for a little while. Depending on your condition, these may include caffeine (coffee, tea, and cola), spicy foods, milk products, and raw fruits and vegetables. For certain people, these can be hard to digest and can worsen symptoms in a flare-up. Your healthcare provider may have you work with a nutritionist to come up with the best food choices for you.

  • Try eating several small meals a day instead of 3 large ones.

  • Don't smoke. Tobacco smoking makes the disease worse. 

  • Keep appointments for all checkups even if you are not having symptoms.

  • Talk to your healthcare provider about surgery for Crohn’s disease. Surgery won’t cure Crohn’s disease. But it may help control the symptoms. Only you and your healthcare provider can decide if this choice is right for you.

  • Learn more about your condition. Contact the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation toll-free at 800-932-2423 or www.ccfa.org.

Managing nutrition

You may be able to eat most foods until you have a flare-up. But like anyone else, you need to make healthy eating choices. Some of the healthiest foods can make symptoms worse, though. Keeping track of your "problem foods" may help. Ask your healthcare provider any questions you have about healthy eating.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Severe pain or bloating in your belly after meals

  • Sores in your mouth

  • Sores in your anal area (around your rectum)

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Chills

  • Poor appetite or weight loss

  • Bloody diarrhea

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Skin rashes or skin that weeps (or drains)

  • Changes in your vision

Online Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Kenny Turley PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2016
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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