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Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Crohn's Disease Treatment

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A major goal of Crohn’s disease treatment is to reduce inflammation to reduce symptoms, prevent complications, and maintain adequate nutrition.  Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antidiarrheal, or immunosuppressant medication.  If medications do not help or if you experience intestinal blockage, you may need surgery.  Surgery may also be used to treat abscesses and fistulas. 

The most common surgery for Crohn’s disease removes the diseased section of the intestine.  The surgery can improve symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but it does not cure it.  Crohn’s disease commonly comes back after surgery, frequently at the site where the incision is made.

In some cases, a stoma, an opening in the abdomen may need to be surgically created to remove stools.  The procedure is called an ostomy.  An ostomy is necessary if stools can no longer exit the body through the rectum and anus.  The surgery involves attaching the intestine to the stoma.  A collection bag is worn on the outside of the stoma.  The bag requires regular emptying and cleaning.  The term for the ostomy depends on which part of the intestine is attached to the stoma, for instance a colostomy or ileostomy.  People that have a large section of their intestine removed may need to receive intravenous (IV) nutrition for the rest of their lives.

Medical complications associated with Crohn’s disease need to be treated as well.  You will need to make and keep regular appointments with your doctor to monitor your condition.  Although Crohn’s disease is a life long condition, treatment and monitoring can help people live a good quality of life.

The experience of Crohn’s disease and Crohn’s disease treatments can be an emotional process for people with the condition and their loved ones.  It is important that you receive emotional support from a positive source.  Some people find comfort in their family, friends, co-workers, and faith.  Support groups are another good option.  They can be a source of information and support from people who understand what you are experiencing.  Ask your doctor about support group locations in your area. 

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