The Essential Guide to Living with Crohn’s Disease

6 minute read

By Gerald Morris

Crohn’s disease, a challenging chronic illness, affects the digestive tract with symptoms ranging from abdominal pain to malnutrition. Fortunately, if you start a search online, you can learn how to live happily with Crohn’s disease.

Though the cause is unknown, recent advances in treatment and management offer hope. For many, living with Crohn’s is about balancing medical care with lifestyle changes, highlighting the importance of awareness and continuous learning.


Doctors agree that food doesn’t cause Crohn’s disease — as a matter of fact, no one knows what exactly causes the disease. However, food can definitely make the symptoms worse and contribute to flare-ups of the disease.

To help track what foods trigger flares of the disease, you may want to start by keeping a food diary. It is a record of what you eat and how it makes you feel.

The diet that works for one patient may not work for another. Outside of a food diary, there are some general guidelines that can be considered for individuals with Crohn’s disease, including:

Additionally, you should be eating small, frequent meals and avoid or limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine.

Identifying and Avoiding Triggers

The course of Crohn’s disease tends to wax and wane. You may be going along with a minimum of symptoms or in remission, and all of a sudden, you may feel like you’re back at square one with a flare-up of your disease. This makes identifying and avoiding triggers for your disease all the more important.

Dietary triggers have already been discussed above, but other triggers for the activity of Crohn’s disease may include:

Reducing Stress Levels

Although the connection between stress and Crohn’s disease flare-ups has not been clearly elucidated, doctors agree that excess stress levels can definitely be detrimental to the disease.

None of us are worry-free. However, the following tips to de-stress may calm your disease and prevent flare-ups:

Natural Treatments

Along with prescription medications for your Crohn’s disease, many patients with the disease incorporate natural treatments from the realm of complementary and alternative medicine. Although the safety and effectiveness of natural treatments for Crohn’s have not been established, you should consider:

Medical Care

If you are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you are most likely going to be under the care of a gastroenterologist, a specialist in the study of the stomach and intestines.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease. Most of the drug treatments for the disease target inflammation, the main driver of this medical condition. The primary classes of drugs used to treat Crohn’s disease include:

Day-to-Day Activities

Many people with Crohn’s tend to stick close to home, as they fear a sudden attack of abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea. However, with a little planning, this doesn’t have to be the case.

When venturing out and about, mapping the location of public restrooms through a helpful app is extremely helpful and may allay some anxiety, as you will already know where to go if the urge strikes. Just in case, consider packing an emergency kit with items like a clean change of underwear, toilet tissue or wet wipes, zip lock bags, and deodorizer.

Other useful tips include:

Managing Flare-Ups

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you still will manage to have a flare-up of your Crohn’s disease. The following are some self-care tips to deal with flare-ups of disease:

Creating a Support Network

If you have Crohn’s disease, you may want to isolate yourself for obvious reasons. Resist this urge, as you are not alone. Stay in touch with family and friends, and by all means, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Lastly, consider joining a Crohn’s disease support group, whether online or in person. You may find the sharing of experiences in a community of individuals with similar challenges as yourself refreshing and comforting.

Travel Tips

By now, you have the confidence to venture outside of your home and comfort zone. Why not extend this to travel at home or abroad?

Beyond the Sit or Squat app and your emergency kit, consider the following travel tips:


Living with Crohn’s disease can be difficult. Although the disease is rarely life-threatening, it can be physically and psychologically taxing.

It’s not all bad news though. Being armed with the information in this guide will help you live your best life while having Crohn’s disease. You will have the potential to reduce the severity of your disease, impact flare-ups of the disease, and mitigate complications.

Gerald Morris