Living with Crohn’s disease can be tough. You never know when your next flare up will be, which can put real pressure and anxiety on your daily life. While we can’t change the fact that you are living with a chronic disease, we can help equip you with the tools and information to prepare yourself for facing the daily frustrations of Crohn’s disease.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by inflammation located in the digestive tract. This inflammation can cause uncomfortable symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and more. The location of the inflammation in the digestive tract can differ from person to person.
What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
The severity of the symptoms of Crohn's disease ranges from minor to severe. Your symptoms will usually develop slowly, but can also occur quickly without warning.
Common signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
Abdominal pain and cramping
Blood in your stool
Loss of appetite and weight loss
How do I cope with my Crohn’s disease?
There is research to show that stress can exacerbate the symptoms of your Crohn’s disease. Finding ways to de-stress with things like yoga, meditation, bubble baths, and other self-care habits can ease your Crohn’s flare ups.
Learn About Crohn’s
Your first line of defense in dealing with a chronic disease like Crohn’s is to understand it. Arm yourself with information about Crohn’s disease by speaking with your Crohn’s disease doctor, finding credible medical periodicals, and talking with other people who suffer from the disease.
Eat a Balanced Diet
There are a lot of opinions when it comes to Crohn’s disease and your diet. Rather than cutting out entire food groups, just focus on eating a healthy balanced diet full of fiber, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
Keep a Diary
If you are struggling with flare ups and symptoms of your Crohn’s disease, you may want to keep tabs on your daily lifestyle and habits. Write down things like what you’re eating and drinking, and things you’re doing that may be linked to your symptoms.
One of the most helpful things you can do for emotional support is to seek out people who will understand what you are going through. Surround yourself with people who trust and look for others suffering from Crohn’s disease through emotional support groups online or through your doctor.
Living with Crohn’s disease can be uncomfortable and exhausting, but by managing your symptoms and living a more mindful and healthy life, you can hopefully focus less on your disease and more on living your life!