A sudden Crohn’s flare can be devastating and often appear when you least need it. However, there are ways that you can manage flare-ups to reduce the severity and length of the flare and get you back to normal as soon as possible. We’ve put together a list of tips for managing Crohn’s flares using data from healthgrades.com
See Your Doctor
As soon as you feel a flare coming on, make an appointment to see your doctor to ensure you have the right medications to deal with it. If you’re suffering from recurring flares you may need to adjust the medications you’re taking, so have an honest discussion with your doctor.
Seek Temporary Relief
Medications for Crohn’s disease don’t work immediately, so you will need to find some interim help. Over-the-counter pain medications and ointments may help. Loperamide for diarrhea, Tylenol for pain, and soothing balms for anal soreness should help while you’re waiting for your meds to kick in. However, some over-the-counter pain relievers may aggravate your condition, so confirm with your doctor beforehand what you can and can’t take.
When going through a Crohn’s flare your body won’t be absorbing all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals from food that it needs so it’s important not to skimp on food or eat badly. Try to eat a balanced diet, incorporating all food groups. Many people find eating three large meals uncomfortable and painful, so try eating smaller meals throughout the day instead.
Avoid Food Triggers
Each Crohn’s patient is different and the foods their systems will tolerate will vary from person to person. There are some known flare triggers such as caffeine, dairy, raw vegetables, fried foods, and nuts and seeds which are more likely to make you feel worse during your flare so avoid these until it passes.
Because you won’t be getting all the necessary nutrients from your food, you many need to take supplements during the flare-up. Ask your doctor to recommend the best vitamins and supplements for you.
Drink plenty of water during flare-ups, this will help reduce the risk of dehydration and kidney stones that any excessive diarrhea may cause. You should be drinking a half-ounce of clear liquid for every pound of your body weight, more if you sweat from exercise or hot weather.
Chances are you won’t be able to stay in bed until the flare’s over–you’ll have to get on with your life. When you go out, carry around spare underwear, clothes, and wipes, and make sure you know where the nearest bathroom is