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cephalosporin, or tetracycline can prove effective in controlling

bacterial growth in the intestines. Diarrhea causes dehydration.

Doctors prescribe antidiarrheal agents like loperamide,

diphenoxylate, and codeine and lots of fluids and electrolytes to

combat diarrhea. Some fiber preparations like psyllium and

methylcellulose can help reduce cramps and pain. However, not all

can tolerate these medications.

Antibiotics prove effective in controlling bacterial growth in the

intestine. Bacterial growth increases in cases of various fistulas,

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strictures, and surgeries. Doctors prescribe Tacrolimus and

cyclosporine as alternative medications if your fistulas do not close.

Although these drugs are primarily for patients with organ

transplantation, they also provide relief for patients with Crohn’s

disease. This is specifically true for patients using steroidal


Nutrition Supplements

Children with Crohn’s disease show slow growth due to lack of

sufficient absorption of nutrients. Nutritional supplements can prove

beneficial for treating such children. Nutritional supplements are

available in the form of high calorie liquid formulas. Doctors advise

intravenous feeding of such supplements.

Such nutritional supplements can prove to be good alternatives for

your regular intake of food. You can take this through a catheter, a

tiny tube directly inserted into your blood vein in the chest.

Otherwise, you can take this intravenously through injections. Such

intravenous feeding helps provide sufficient rest to your intestines

and helps in thorough absorption of nutrients. Those suffering from

Crohn’s disease should better stay away from spicy foods, milk

products, alcohol, and foods of bulky grains.


Surgery proves necessary at some or other time for all Crohn’s

disease patients. Rather, it is the only treatment option available

after all medications cease to be effective. Surgery can prove

effective in treating Crohn’s disease in two ways.

It can provide relief from inherent symptoms or correct Crohn’s

disease complications like perforations, blockages, bleeding, and

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abscesses. Surgery can remove abscesses, repair fistulas, or

remove obstructions in the intestine. Surgical removal of the

infected part of the intestine does not offer any permanent cure.

Inflammation soon starts at other parts of the intestine.

Surgical removal of the intestine can be either complete removal of

the intestine or cutting away the diseased part and rejoining

remaining parts of the intestine. Colectomy is the surgical removal

of the entire intestine. Doctors make a small hole near the

abdominal wall. This is a stoma. Doctors then connect the end of

the small intestine to the stoma. You need to wear a pouch near the

stoma. Waste accumulates within the pouch and you have to empty

the pouch when necessary. This bag is for life. It collects all waste

that can no longer pass through the anus. This treatment becomes

essential if you stop responding to all other treatment options.

Sometimes, it is sufficient to cut away diseased parts and connect

remaining intestine ends. However, surgical treatment for Crohn’s

disease may not suit all patients. You have to discuss post surgery

effects with your doctor. You can also take the help of group

therapists and other support groups.

Surgery is not a single time affair. You may require one or two

surgeries. It all depends on the severity of Crohn’s disease.

However, a major factor of Crohn’s disease is the possibility of

excessive infection. Around five to ten percent of patients suffering

from Crohn’s disease die of infection.

Alternative Therapies

Crohn’s disease causes lot of pain and discomfort. Alternative

therapists suggest a mind and body approach to combat and fight

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away pain. Such mind and body treatments include hypnotherapy,

biofeedback, sound and music therapy, guided imagery, and

relaxation techniques.

Tai Chi, postural therapies, and exercises help you concentrate on

specific choreographed movements that ease pain and discomfort.

These do not form any rigorous exercise regimen and offer soothing

relief from pain. Similarly, acupressure and acupuncture are also

remedial therapies for Crohn’s disease.

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Surgery for Crohn's Disease

Around two-thirds to three–quarters of people suffering from

Crohn’s disease require surgery at some point. Surgery cannot cure

your disease. It only alleviates pain and discomfort synonymous

with Crohn’s disease. Surgery could be a better option for some if

medications fail to produce desired results in controlling abscesses,

fistulas, perforations, and other blockages.

Before going for surgical treatment of Crohn’s disease, you should

weigh all the pros and cons. Surgery cannot offer any permanent

cure from Crohn’s disease. Surgery is only a temporary solution. All

symptoms of Crohn’s disease could reoccur a few years after

surgery. It is therefore best to collect all possible information from

medical journals, physicians, and other people facing or having

faced similar situations in the past.

The main aim of surgery is to conserve as much of the bowel as

possible. Surgery tries to bring down your dependence on steroids

and other medications and help you be free of their serious side


Surgery and Crohn’s Disease

There are four common types of surgery for Crohn’s disease.

These are:

1) Partial bowel resection

2) Correction of Fistulas

3) Strictureplasty

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4) Draining of Abscess

Partial bowel resection

Resection becomes necessary if a permanent partial obstruction

forms within your intestine. This is normally found in your terminal

ileum, ileocecal valve, and a part of the large intestine. Normally,

doctors cut out the diseased part of your intestine and rejoin the

healthy ends.

In some cases, there could be a mild inflammation all through the

intestine. It then becomes necessary to cut off infected parts of

intestine and rectum. Doctors instead create a small incision or hole

near the abdominal wall. They then connect the ileum to this hole or

stoma. They attach a pouch to this hole where all waste drains into

this pouch. You can empty the contents when it is necessary. This is

an ostomy.

In some cases, a temporary ostomy could be useful. After a period

of three to six months of initial surgery, doctors reattach bowels and

normalize processes. However, in severe cases, this may not be

possible. You would have to carry the pouch permanently. However,

clothing can cover your pouch and you can lead perfectly normal

lives even after ostomy.

In very severe cases of Crohn’s disease, doctors need to remove the

entire bowel. This is colonectomy. Surgery does not signify the end

of Crohn’s disease. It can crop up after few years and affect healthy

intestines. This relapse could be close to the place of your surgery.

However, you can take Pentasa or 6-MP to lessen the possibilities of

a relapse of Crohn’s disease after surgery.

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Correction of Fistulas

Crohn’s disease creates inflammation of the intestinal lining. This

inflammation could create channels within the intestine or between

parts of the intestine and other supporting organs. Fistulas then

become easy channels for waste to flow from one organ to another

thereby causing infection. Correction of fistulas involves closing

them to prevent intestinal contents from flowing through all nearby



This refers to surgical removal and opening of strictures. Strictures are small blockages in intestines. These restrict intestinal passage

and prevent easy flow within the intestine. Strictures cause

alternations between areas of normal intestine and damaged

intestine. Damaged and strictured parts of the intestine block

movement of digested food. Normal parts of the intestine push

against the strictured part. This causes severe pain and cramps.

Strictureplasty involves making an incision in a stricture. Doctors

pull together the incision lengthwise and sew it across. This shortens

the intestine but clears the blockage thereby helping in easy flow.

Draining of Abscess

An abscess is an eruption on the intestinal wall. These erupt due to

inflammation of the intestines. These eruptions contain fluids, which

are infectious. Doctors use medications initially to drain away the

abscess. If medications fail, surgery becomes essential as abscesses

spread infection.

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Surgical treatment of an abscess includes insertion of a needle to

draw out infectious material. Sometimes, surgeons remove

infectious material and place a wick inside to ease drainage and help

the abscess heal thoroughly.

You can treat recurrence of Crohn’s disease with regular

medications. Nevertheless, occasionally, a second surgery could also

be necessary to overcome Crohn’s disease.

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Medication for Crohn's Disease

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. You can take medications to

alleviate symptoms and get relief. All medications for Crohn’s

disease have their own side effects. You can try using the ones that

suit your condition the best.

If you refrain from using medications, it would only worsen Crohn’s

disease. Medications can help keep the disease in check and prevent

excessive spreading.

Types of Medication for Crohn’s Disease

There are two main categories of medications for Crohn’s disease.

They are:

1) Drugs that reduce Inflammation

2) Drugs that treat symptoms

Inflammation Reducing Drugs

Major drugs under this group consist of Sulfasalazine, steroids, 5-

Aminosalicylate (5-ASA), antibiotics, immunosuppressive drugs, and


Sulfasalazine: This drug restricts production of certain

inflammation causing chemicals that cause diarrhea. It can reduce

your flare-ups, although not all patients may have the same effect.

Common side effects of Sulfasalazine include vomiting, nausea,

allergic reaction, poor appetite, and possible bone-marrow


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Steroids: Glucocorticosteroids or glucocorticoids can treat

inflammation in patients with Crohn’s disease. These prove

beneficial in giving relief in patients with moderate and severe

attacks of Crohn’s disease. Common side effects of these steroids

include increased appetite and subsequent weight gain, acne,

redness of face, rounding of face, insomnia, night sweats, softening

of bones, glaucoma, ulcers, high blood pressure, mood changes,

and others.

5-ASA (5-Aminosalicylate): This drug helps treat moderate to

severe cases of Crohn’s disease. It can help reduce production of

diarrhea causing chemicals. Additionally, it disables oxygen radicals

that destroy tissue. Common side effects include headaches,

nausea, allergic reactions, and kidney damage if used for long


Antibiotics: Although a number of antibiotics can treat Crohn’s

disease, metronidazole is the most common of them. This antibiotic

is very effective against anaerobes, which are intestinal bacteria. It

can treat fistulas and abscesses forming near the anus region. This

antibiotic is primarily useful in controlling Crohn’s disease flare-ups

and suppresses chronic symptoms. It also delays or in some cases

prevents relapse of Crohn’s disease after surgery.

Common side effects of metronidazole include poor appetite,

constipation, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and diarrhea. Prolonged

intake of this antibiotic can disrupt body balance due to extensive

damage to nerves in the legs. However, you can reverse this

damage, although only after months of discontinuing the antibiotic.

Side effects are more pronounced if you consume alcohol regularly.

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You could suffer from nausea, headaches, breathlessness, rapid

heartbeats, and excessive flushing of the face.

Immunosuppressive Drugs: Doctors prescribe these drugs only if

other anti-inflammatory drugs don’t get the desired results. Doctors

normally prescribe small dosages of this drug. Although there is no

conclusive proof of how it reduces inflammation,

Immunosuppressive drugs can control inflammation extensively.

The greatest side effect of immunosuppressive drugs is a reduced

immune system. You lose your resistance against infections. You

should consult your doctor for any minor ailments like cold, fever,

persistent sore throat, and similar other ailments. This drug poses

problems if you become a victim of any undiagnosable infection.

Infliximab: Doctors prescribe this anti-inflammatory drug if you do not respond to any other medication or treatment. This is the most

recent drug approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration for

treatment of Crohn’s disease. This drug primarily reacts against

TNF-Alpha, which is the main inflammation-causing component.

Symptom Treating Drugs

There are certain medications that can treat symptoms of Crohn’s

disease. These eliminate or reduce symptoms rather than reducing

inflammation. Such drugs include antidiarrheal, bile salt binders,

and bulk formers.

Antidiarrheal Drugs: These drugs reduce muscle activity of the

small and large intestines. It can make waste materials pass

through slowly. These drugs therefore control cramps, diarrhea, and

similar urgencies effectively. These prove safer than drugs that

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reduce inflammation. Doctors however do not prescribe these drugs

during flare-ups due to possible complications.

Common side effects of antidiarrheal drugs include abdominal pain,

constipation, and a sense of bloating. Among all antidiarrheal drugs,

Loperamide is the safest. Dosage is once or twice a day. You can

purchase it over-the-counter, as it does not require a prescription.

Bile-Salt Binders: Bile salts are liver products that help digest fat in the intestine. Ileum absorbs most of the bile salts. However, in

Crohn’s disease patients, the ileum does not function properly.

Therefore, most of the bile salts reach the colon and cause

excessive irritation. This leads to diarrhea. Bile salt binders help

bind the bile salt and thereby reduce diarrhea. Common side effects

of bile salt binders include nausea, digestion problems, vomiting,

abdominal pain, constipation, and bloating.

Bulk Formers: These are products of a natural fiber source like

psyllium seed. They are available in granules of various flavors.

These drugs help soak water content in stools and bind them. This

reduces frequency and looseness of stools. These drugs prove most

beneficial for patients with mild Crohn’s disease. It can help correct

looseness of stools, although frequency may be high.

A side effect of Bulk formers is that it could make you feel gassy

and bloated. These drugs give out a fine dust that could make you

allergic and cause serious reactions.

Although various effective drugs control symptoms and

inflammation of Crohn’s disease, a balanced, high nutrition diet is

essential. Physical exercise and an optimistic nature can help too.

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Cure Research for Crohn's Disease

Researchers and scientists are continuously trying their best to find

a cure for Crohn’s disease.

Antibiotics: Although doctors prescribe these for bacterial

infections that come with Crohn’s disease, researchers suggest that

antibiotics could prove to be the main source of treatment for

Crohn’s disease soon.

Anti-TNF: Body immune system produces a protein, tumor necrosis

factor (TNF). This is present in cells affected by Crohn’s disease.

TNF could be responsible for inflammations. Researchers feel Anti-

TNF could combat TNF and prevent it from reaching intestines and

causing inflammation. This could also close fistulas.

Interleukin 10(IL-10): This is a cytokine present in the body, which can reduce inflammation. Researchers are studying

effectiveness of synthetic IL-10 in treating Crohn’s disease.

Methotrexate and cyclosporine: These immunosuppressive drugs

treat Crohn’s disease. These seem to work faster than other

immunosuppressive drugs.

Zinc: Doctors believe that free radicals could be cause for

inflammation in Crohn’s disease. Free radicals are molecules

produced by your body due to stress, infection, and fat metabolism.

These damage body cells on interaction with other body molecules.

Zinc removes these free radicals from your bloodstream.

Researchers are therefore trying to study extent of zinc

supplementation in reducing inflammation.

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Budesonide: This corticosteroid proves as effective as usual

corticosteroids. However, the major benefit is that it causes fewer

side effects.

Medications: Researchers are trying to delve deeper into

effectiveness of various medications for treating Crohn’s disease.

Common medications include Neoral, Cyclosporine, SangCya, and

Sandimmune. As genetic factors play a role in Crohn’s disease,

researchers are trying to analyze their effect and how to combat


Helminth Treatment: Helminths are parasites that breed in the

intestines. Researchers formed a formula using helminths found in

pig intestines and gave it to six people. Five of these experienced

remissions of Crohn’s disease symptoms while the sixth experienced

substantial reduction in symptoms. However, after all helminths

passed away through stools, all six people experienced reoccurrence

of all symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

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Complementary and Alternative

Treatments for Crohn’s Disease

Most Crohn’s disease treatments cause serious side effects. Many

Crohn’s disease patients prefer trying alternative and

complementary therapies to treat Crohn’s disease. National

Institutes of Health established the National Center for

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to look for such

treatment options that could provide necessary relief.

Common complementary therapies include music or art therapy,

acupuncture or acupressure, tai chi, yoga, guided imagery,

massage, and hypnosis. The focal point of these therapies is not to

address the problem area alone. Instead, it addresses the entire

body and system as a whole. It alleviates pain and associated stress

from your mind thereby bringing relief in various Crohn’s disease


Stress does not cause Crohn’s disease; however, stress can

exaggerate flare-ups and other symptoms. Simple digestive

processes undergo noticeable changes due to stress. Stress can be

in the form of loss of job, death of a loved one, change of place, or

similar situations. Stress is unavoidable no doubt; nevertheless, you

can reduce its effects substantially. Simple stress busters include

biofeedback, exercise, meditation, yoga, and massage.

Biofeedback techniques reduce muscle tension and put you in a

relaxed state of mind. With a little help, you can practice such

techniques independently and reduce stress levels substantially.

Mild exercises are very beneficial. Exercises can be in the form of

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simple walking, stretching, or jogging. Exercises can reduce tension

and ease bowel functions extensively.

Yoga and deep breathing allows greater flow of air in and out of

your muscles. This helps in clearing passages within your body and

allows your abdominal muscles to function easily. This normalizes

bowel function extensively.

Practicing hypnosis through a trained professional is highly

beneficial. Professionals guide you to reach a relaxed state and

thereafter help you imagine your intestinal muscles becoming

smooth and easy. Although there is no set rule for these techniques,

the best recourse is to set aside a minimum of half an h