5 Steps to Take During a Crohn’s Disease Flare

If you have Crohn’s disease, acetaminophen is a better option than NSAIDs. courtesy of Getty Images

It’s possible to have a Crohn’s disease flare even if you’re doing everything right: taking your medicine, avoiding your triggers, and eating healthily. But don’t get too worked up. You may attempt a variety of methods to alleviate the symptoms. Here are five ideas to consider.

  1. Make an appointment with your doctor.

It’s critical to call your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of Crohn’s Disease flare-ups. Be open and honest about the indicators you’re experiencing. Chills, fever, stomach discomfort bleeding, or regular diarrhea are all possible symptoms. According to Ramanujan Samavedy, MD, a gastroenterologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, any of these symptoms might signal that your illness is worsening.

“One of the most important components of managing Crohn’s Disease is having a good connection with your doctor,” says Kathy Walker-Oaks, an RN nurse at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville who works in University Gastroenterology. If you and your doctor don’t already have a strategy in place for dealing with an epidemic, make one as soon as possible.

  1. Avoid taking any medications.

Certain pain relievers (including over-the-counter ones) may exacerbate your symptoms. So, chat to your doctor about which medications are safe for you to use. According to Carlos Rollhauser, MD, a gastrointestinal expert at The University of Tennessee Medical Center, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may promote inflammation, and he recommends Acetaminophen to his patients. While you wait, consider utilizing warmth treatment or a mild massage to relieve joint pain and relax. According to Walker-Oaks, staying hydrated might help relieve stiffness.

  1. Reduce your calorie intake.

Keep an eye out for meals that make you feel bloated or gassy. The doctor says there is no one food or drink that causes Crohn’s disease. Spicy foods, fat-laden drinks, and fiber, according to Rollhauser, should be avoided during a flare-up since they may increase diarrhea and create cramps.

“In the case of a flare-up, bland foods and clear liquids are excellent,” Walker-Oaks explains. Stock your cupboard with canned or prepared soups made with broth, crackers, or bread, as well as lean meats. It’s also feasible to discuss the usage of nutritional supplements during flares with your doctor.

“Drinking enough of water can also assist to avoid dehydration,” explains Walker-Oaks. Make sure you get at least 64 ounces of water every day. According to Dr. Samavedy, if you have diarrhea, you should consume extra water and sports drinks that include electrolytes. He also recommends avoiding sugary beverages and sodas, which may increase Crohn’s disease symptoms.

If you have severe diarrhea, contact your doctor right once. According to Rollhauser, dehydration is the most common cause of hospitalization in Crohn’s patients. It’s conceivable that you’ll need fluids or other nutrients injected into your intestines to help them mend and relax. Also called as bowel rest, this treatment is usually reserved for severe flare-ups that need hospitalization.

  1. Take care of your skin.

It’s conceivable that the region surrounding the anus becomes irritating and rough if there’s a lot of diarrhea. Keep the area as dry and clean as possible, according to Walker-Oaks. If the skin isn’t broken, a zinc-oxide-based topical ointment may help relieve the pain. If your skin is harmed, see your doctor before using any product, as well as if it isn’t healing properly.

Mouth ulcers, such as canker sores and ulcers produced by canker, are frequent among Crohn’s disease patients. “It’s critical to maintain good oral hygiene,” Walker-Oaks explains. “Flossing or brushing your teeth, as well as the dental treatment that follows, are critical for oral health.” The majority of these ulcers heal on their own in 10 to 14 days without therapy. If they persist or create pain, the doctor may prescribe medicine to alleviate the situation.

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

“Stress and lack of sleep may have a bad influence on any sickness,” Walker-Oaks explains. She recommends getting enough of rest and using tactics to assist you manage your Crohn’s illness.

“Mental health is critical,” Rollhauser argues. “We’re all aware that despair, stress, and anxiety are all flare-up causes.” To look after your mental and emotional wellness, he recommends contacting a healthcare specialist. He also mentions that studies have shown the usefulness of exercise in lowering stress and anxiety.

It’s also critical to protect your general health as much as possible. If you’re on immune-suppressing medication, avoid coming into touch with people who have colds or other common diseases, according to Samavedy, since you might get a dangerous infection. Because of the danger of catching infectious airborne illnesses and other airborne diseases, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about receiving cold, pneumonia, and COVID-19 vaccines.

Although Crohn’s disease is an illness that fluctuates, you may be certain that there are techniques to lessen flares when they do occur. Keep in touch with your doctor and stick to the treatment plan he or she has prescribed. Take notice of your eating habits. Make sure you get enough rest, regulate your stress levels, and pay attention to cleanliness. When you ignore any of these factors that impact your overall health, your Crohn’s disease symptoms may worsen.