If Crohn's disease is not controlled, an individual can look forward to frequent cramping, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, and appetite concerns. If you have been diagnosed, you should visit a gastroenterologist to find a treatment plan that works for you. However, it is important that you play a part in the treatment process as well. How you take care of yourself will play a large part in how this condition affects your life.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Your doctor likely had you complete a food journal when you were first diagnosed. You should reference these notes to make sure you remember which foods are considered trigger foods.
For some people, trigger foods include those that contain dairy, for other people, it is foods with high fat content, and for others it is not what they eat, but the quantity. Whatever your trigger is, do your best to avoid it. If you do not have this information, you should talk with your physician as soon as possible.
If exercise is not a regular part of your life, now is the time to make a change. Exercise is excellent for people with this condition for a couple of reasons. First, regular activity helps activate the digestive tract. The better your digestive system works, the less likely you are to experience the diarrhea and bowel inflammation that can come with this condition.
Second, exercise gives you energy, which can make it easier for you to overcome the fatigue that is often associated with this condition. Remember, exercising does not just involve the gym. Jogging around your neighborhood, completing an exercise video at home, and walking in place all count.
Engage in Stress-Relieving Activities
In an ideal world, everyone could walk around without any stress. However, if you have a career, a family, or both, it is hard to escape some level of stress. Unfortunately, stress is often a trigger for a Crohn's disease flare-up.
It is a good idea to engage in activities that help you feel calmer and at peace to minimize the stress you feel. These activities can include everything from reading to spending time with your children to mediating; whatever behaviors work for you, engage in them.
Crohn's disease can affect everyone differently, and as a result, what works for one person may not work for the other. Have a conversation with your gastroenterologist to learn what measures in your everyday life will work best for you.