What over-the-counter medications am I permitted to use?
If you have continuous diarrhea, you may be tempted to take loperamide (Imodium), but you should consult your doctor first to make sure it’s safe. Similarly, if you are constipated, taking laxatives can be more harmful than helpful. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, are generally not suggested for Crohn’s disease patients due to potential side effects. It’s critical to see your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you should avoid while on therapy.
What kind of diet should I follow?
Although there is no specific diet for Crohn’s disease patients, it is critical to have a good, balanced diet. Because of frequent diarrhea, many persons with Crohn’s disease lose a lot of weight. Therefore, they require a diet that will allow them to maintain their weight. If you are concerned about your diet or are having difficulty losing weight, ask your doctor if you can be sent to a nutritionist. This way, you can be certain that you are getting all of the nutrients you require.
What other adjustments should I make to my lifestyle?
With a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, your lifestyle may alter radically, and certain habits you have may potentially make it worse. For example, smoking aggravates Crohn’s disease and drinking alcohol while taking certain drugs is not advised. You should check with your doctor to see if you can still participate in sports, work-related activities, and other demanding activities. Sexual intercourse is usually not restricted, but you should talk to your doctor about how Crohn’s impacts this aspect of your life.
What other treatments may I require in the future?
Crohn’s disease is usually manageable with medicine and lifestyle changes, but in some cases, surgery is required to put the disease into remission. Inquire with your doctor about the likelihood of surgery and the type of surgery you may require. Some surgical procedures remove diseased parts of your gut, leaving merely a scar. However, certain surgeries need the removal of your entire colon, leaving you with a colostomy bag for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is better to be aware of your surgical alternatives ahead of time.
When should I make a follow-up appointment?
You must plan a follow-up appointment when you have finished questioning your doctor. Even if you’re feeling good and haven’t had any flare-ups, you’ll need to know how frequently you should see your doctor. You should also know what to do in the event of a flare-up and when to see a doctor if your therapy isn’t working. If your meds stop working or you aren’t feeling well, consult with your doctor about when you should return to the office.
Crohn’s disease can be a painful and unpleasant condition, but you can control it and its flare-ups by working with your doctor and seeing them regularly. You and your doctor work together as a team. When it comes to your health and condition, you and your partner must be on the same page.