Everyday life can sometimes become very difficult for people living with a chronic illness. Crohn’s disease is one of the chronic diseases that cause the most discomfort to patients. It is therefore essential to follow a very strict lifestyle in order to reduce the symptoms of the disease and limit its progression.
WHAT IS CROHN’S DISEASE?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic disease that can affect all segments of the digestive system, from the mouth to the colon. It is characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract, with phases of activity called flare-ups, followed by phases of remission of varying lengths. Any segment of the digestive tract can be affected. However, in the majority of cases, it is the intestines and colon that are most affected. This disease affects both sexes and most often affects young people and adults between the ages of 20 and 40. However, the symptoms may appear as early as childhood or adolescence. The disease is characterized by abdominal pain and diarrhea, with or without mucus and blood. This then leads to fatigue and weight loss and can cause non-digestive manifestations: skin rashes, joint pain, etc. In addition, Crohn’s disease increases the risk of colon cancer, and is therefore fatal in some cases. To live with Crohn’s disease, it is therefore necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to follow the appropriate treatment scrupulously.
WHAT TREATMENT TO FOLLOW FOR CROHN’S DISEASE?
Crohn’s disease, called by some “chromium disease”, is to this day incurable: it is a chronic disease that one keeps for life. However, there are treatments that reduce symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life in order to prolong the remission phase. Many drug treatments are now used to relieve the pain associated with relapses. Corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and anti-inflammatory drugs are the most common in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. In addition, antibiotics are also necessary in some patients. Finally, since the disease often leads to a deficiency, iron intake is essential to avoid the risk of anaemia. However, these heavy drug treatments often have very few positive effects. In the most serious cases, surgery is necessary to remove the most affected parts. This is particularly the case when the patient has perforations, fistulas and severe bleeding. However, this does not cure the disease and does not eliminate the risk of recurrence.
HYGIENE MEASURES TO BE FOLLOWED
To avoid the sometimes serious side effects of drug treatments, it is beneficial for patients to follow a healthy lifestyle. The first step is to banish tobacco and alcohol, which are factors in the development of digestive tract problems. Next, it is important to ensure a healthy diet. Patients with Crohn’s disease should avoid saturated and hydrogenated fats, additives and sugar-rich foods that are highly inflammatory to the stomach and intestines at all costs. The ideal is to prepare home-made dishes with basic recipes yourself. Spices and herbs such as ginger, thyme and turmeric are also highly recommended as they have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. In addition, it is important to chew food well to aid digestion and to drink enough water to keep the body hydrated. Finally, it is advisable to relax and engage in regular physical activity in order to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body. Stress tends to increase the acidity of gastric secretions. Practicing sports is therefore beneficial, as it improves digestion and helps to evacuate toxins that are harmful to the body.