Living with Crohn's Disease: 10 Helpful Tips

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.

Living with Crohn's Disease: 10 Helpful Tips
Living with Crohn's Disease: 10 Helpful Tips

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.

While there is currently no cure for Crohn's, there are many lifestyle changes and self-care practices you can adopt to help manage your symptoms and live a fuller life. Here are 10 tips:

  1. Stay hydrated. Dehydration is common with Crohn's flare-ups due to diarrhea and vomiting. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids daily, like water, clear broths and electrolyte-rich sports drinks. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages which can dehydrate you further.
  2. Eat a Crohn's-friendly diet. Some find that limiting dairy, fatty foods, raw produce and high-fiber foods can help ease digestive symptoms. Try sticking to nutrient-rich boiled vegetables, lean proteins, broth-based soups and easily digestible grains.
  3. Manage stress. Stress doesn't cause Crohn's but can make symptoms worse. Make time for relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, massage and deep breathing exercises. Consider therapy if you have anxiety or depression.
  4. Quit smoking. Smoking worsens Crohn's symptoms and may trigger flare-ups. Talk to your healthcare provider about safe and effective smoking cessation plans.
  5. Get regular exercise. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming and cycling can relieve Crohn's symptoms. However, intense exercise can sometimes worsen gut inflammation. Start slow and adjust workouts based on how you feel.
  6. Get enough sleep. Fatigue is common with Crohn's. Aim for 7-9 hours per night with a consistent bedtime routine. Daytime naps may also help restore energy.
  7. Communicate with loved ones. Having Crohn's can feel isolating. Explain your condition so friends and family understand your challenges. Join a local Crohn's support group.
  8. Maintain a food journal. Recording what you eat and drink can identify triggers for flare-ups and symptoms. Review your log with a dietitian to adjust your diet.
  9. See your doctor regularly. Schedule regular check-ups to monitor your Crohn's, address new symptoms early, and discuss lifestyle changes to better manage the disease.
  10. Find healthy ways to cope. Being proactive about self-care, making lifestyle changes, and asking for help when needed can help control Crohn's symptoms and improve quality of life.

Living with Crohn's comes with daily struggles, but you can take back control with the right lifestyle measures and support system. VR pain distraction techniques work well, or maybe try a free mobile game to keep your mind off of your pain and symptoms.

Focus on finding ways to thrive in spite of the challenges Crohn's presents.

What Is Crohn’s Disease?
If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or are looking for more information, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation can help you understand this chronic illness and learn how to manage your symptoms.
Crohn’s Disease
Information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s Disease, one of the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)