Crohn's disease - Treatment & therapy

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Treatment & therapy of Crohn's disease

The therapy depends on the severity of the disease. For mild or moderate cases ambulatory treatment is usually sufficient. Serious cases have to be treated at least temporarily as an in-patient. Above all, the severity of the flare-ups determines acute treatment:

Low activity

  • Avoid poorly tolerated food
  • Symptomatic therapy (active ingredients for cramps, diarrhea and pain)
  • Local anti-inflammatory treatment with the active substances budesonide (a type of cortisone) and/or sulfasalazine

Moderate activity

  • Application of systemic (with effects for the whole body) cortisone preparations
  • Special nutritional therapy
  • Antibiotics against frequent accompanying bacterial infections

High activity

  • Cortisone and, if necessary, other immunosuppressants (drugs that suppress the immune system), for example, Azathioprine
  • Antibodies against inflammatory factors (TNF antibodies)

Because the exact formation mechanism of Crohn's disease is still not sufficiently deciphered, the drug treatment is limited to the relief of the inflammation and discomfort. In addition, the goal is to maintain the rest periods between the relapses as long as possible (remission-sustained therapy).

The individual constitution determines whether therapy is necessary during remission. Sometimes the treatment can even be dispensed with completely. In addition to medication, an operation may also be necessary in case of acute relapses. Narrowed areas can then be expanded with a balloon, abscesses can be removed and fistulas closed.

There are actually no general guidelines for diet in case of Crohn's disease. However, patients should pay attention at some things. Even in the case of severe pain, a sufficient supply of food must be taken so that patients don't develop deficiencies. Above all, sufficient proteins, vitamins and dietary fibers are important. On the other hand, during an acute phase, food free of fiber ("astronautic food") should be consumed. In case of very serious flare-ups, the recommended diet is by drip to relieve the intestine.

Crohn's disease often more or less effects the patient's entire life. If you suffer from this, a specialized psychotherapy is important in any case. You will learn how to deal with the disease and how to best integrate it into your life. You will also learn how to keep the impairments and complaints as low as possible.