What're the treatment options for Crohn's disease?
There is currently no cure for Crohn's; treatment for Crohn's disease is mainly symptomatic. Some patients find some foods (such as foods high in fiber, and dairy foods) make their symptoms worse, but the disease cannot be controlled simply through diet modifications. Therapies include treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs that act in the intestines, and, if
symptoms cannot be controlled with other drugs, with steroids (although long-term steroid therapy is discouraged because of its well-known side effects). In advanced cases a bowel resection may be required.
Medications are very effective at improving the symptoms of Crohn's disease. Most of the drugs work by preventing inflammation in the intestines. The medication commonly used first is a group of anti-inflammatory drugs called aminosalicylates. Related chemically to aspirin, they suppress inflammation in the intestine and in joints. They are given either by mouth (pills) or by rectum, as an enema. Some drugs in this group include sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), mesalamine (Asacol, Pentasa, Canasa, Rowasa) and olsalazine (Dipentum). Certain antibiotic drugs, particularly metronidazole (Flagyl) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro), help by decreasing the bacterial growth in irritated areas of the bowel. They may have a side benefit of decreasing inflammation, too. If you still have diarrhea, but there is no infection, antidiarrheal medications, such as loperamide (Lomotil) may be helpful.
A well-established group of drugs, especially in the mild-to-moderate disease, are salicylates - 5-ASA derivates - 5-aminosalicylic acid compounds such as sulfasalazine (brand name Asacol), mesalamine (brand name Pentasa), olsalazine, and balsalazide. Immunomodulating drugs such as azathioprine and mercaptopurine as well as infliximab (brand name Remicade) are given mainly in moderate-to-severe cases. Research trials are being conducted on treatment with drugs in the same family as thalidomide.
The most widely used operation in Crohn disease is removing the diseased part of the intestine. Surgery is usually necessary in people who have intestinal obstruction or very severe symptoms that are not relieved by medication. It can improve the condition, but it does not cure it. Surgery also may be necessary for an abscess or certain types of fistula. People who have part of their bowel removed may require an ostomy. The normal bowel is attached to an opening in the lower abdomen called a stoma. Feces are no longer passed from the body through the rectum and anus, but through this stoma. An “ostomy bag” is worn on the outside of the body to collect the waste. The ostomy often is called by which part of the bowel is attached, such as colostomy or ileostomy.
A mind-body approach can help individuals with ulcerative colitis manage pain, and can contribute to both a sense of well-being and a feeling of control in a situation in which, in medical terms, they have little or no control. Mind-body treatments include biofeedback, guided imagery, hypnotherapy, sound/music therapy, relaxation techniques, and prayer. Postural therapies and exercises such as the Alexander technique, the Feldenkrais method, and the Trager method, as well as tai chi, which help an individual concentrate on choreographed body movements, are relaxing and provide a low-intensity physical workout when more active exercise is not possible. Acupuncture and acupressure may also be beneficial.
More information on inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease)
What are the inflammatory bowel diseases? - Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disorder that causes an inflamed and swollen digestive tract or intestinal wall.
What causes inflammatory bowel diseases? - The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is not known. Chronic inflammation present in the intestines of persons with both forms of IBD damages the bowel.
What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases? - Symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases can include chronic diarrhea, abdominal cramps or pain, fever, and blood or mucus in the stool.
How is inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed? - To make a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, a doctor must first exclude other possible causes of inflammation.
What're the treatments for inflammatory bowel disease? - Inflammatory bowel disease is treated with medication, exercise, and sometimes, surgery. Treatments for IBD are directed against the inflammation in the bowel.
What're the medications for inflammatory bowel disease? - Medications for inflammatory bowel disease include sulfasalazine, corticosteroids, immunosuppressives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
What is Crohn's disease? - Crohn's Disease is a chronic illness that causes irritation in the digestive tract. Crohn's disease occurs in the last portion of intestine (ileum).
What types of Crohn's disease are there? - There are five subtypes of Crohn's disease, distinguished by the gastrointestinal area in which the disease occurs.
What causes Crohn's disease? - The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. There is now evidence of a genetic link as Crohn's frequently shows up in a family group.
What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? - The symptoms of Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss.
What are the complications of Crohn's disease? - Common complications of Crohn's disease include the development of an intestinal obstruction, pus-filled pockets of infection, and abnormal connecting channels.
How is Crohn's disease diagnosed? - The diagnosis of Crohn's disease is suspected in patients with fever, abdominal pain and tenderness, diarrhea with or without bleeding, and anal diseases.
What're the treatments for Crohn's disease? - Treatment for Crohn's disease is mainly symptomatic. Medications are very effective at improving the symptoms of Crohn's disease.
What medications cure Crohn's disease? - Medications for Crohn's disease sulfasalazine, Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum. Mesalamine is useful both to achieve and maintain remission.
What's the surgery for Crohn's disease treatment? - Surgery to remove part of the intestine can help Crohn's disease but cannot cure it. The most used operation in Crohn disease is removing the diseased part of the intestine.
What Crohn's disease diet is suggested? - Diet may have to be restricted based on symptoms or complications of Crohn's disease. No particular food has ever been implicated in causing Crohn's disease.
Crohn's disease in children - Crohn's disease is most often diagnosed in young adulthood. Children facing Crohn's disease have significant self-image issues to deal with.
Crohn's disease and pregnancy women - Women with Crohn's disease who are considering having children can be comforted to know that the vast majority of such pregnancies will result in normal children.
What is ulcerative colitis? - Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the bowel, that usually affects the distal end of the large intestine and rectum.
What types of ulcerative colitis are there? - Doctors categorize ulcerative colitis by the amount of colon involved. Variability of symptoms reflects differences in the extent of disease and the intensity of inflammation.
What causes ulcerative colitis? - The cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but heredity and an overactive immune response in the intestine may be contributing factors.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis? - The symptoms vary according to the extent of the disease. The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.
What are the complications of ulcerative colitis? - Bleeding, the most common complication of ulcerative colitis, often causes iron deficiency anemia.
How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed? - Diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is suspected based on the symptoms that a patient is experiencing. The most important method of diagnosis is endoscopy.
What are the treatments for ulcerative colitis? - Treatment of ulcerative colitis depends on the location and severity of a patient's disease, the presence of complications.
What ulcerative colitis medications are available? - Medications for ulcerative colitis include 5-ASA Compounds, anticholinergic drugs, steroids, and immunosuppressive drugs.
What surgery treats ulcerative colitis? - Surgery for ulcerative colitis involves removal of the entire colon, regardless of whether all or only a portion of the colon is diseased.
Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis - Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are chronic diseases in which certain kinds of white blood cells infiltrate the lining of the large intestine.