WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Crohn disease is an inflammatory disease of the digestive system. Crohn disease causes the lining of your intestines to become inflamed. The lining of your mouth, esophagus, or stomach may also be affected by Crohn disease.
- Medicines may be used to decrease inflammation in your digestive tract. You may need antibiotics to treat or prevent an infection and antidiarrheal medicine to decrease diarrhea. Immunosuppressants may also be given to slow your immune system.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP as directed:
Record the number of bowel movements you have each day and describe the color and form (liquid, soft, or hard). Write down if you saw blood in your bowel movement. Bring the record with you when you see your PHP. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Keep a record of everything you eat and drink. Include any symptoms the food or drink causes or makes worse. You may need to avoid certain foods. Dairy, alcohol, hot spices, and high-fiber foods are common examples of foods that may worsen your symptoms. Your PHP may recommend that you take vitamins or minerals. Always ask your PHP before you take vitamins or nutritional supplements.
Do not smoke:
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Quitting may help decrease active periods. Ask your PHP for information if you need help quitting.
Contact your PHP if:
- You have tar-colored bowel movements or you see blood in your bowel movements.
- You have a fever or chills.
- The pain in your abdomen does not go away or gets worse after you take medicine.
- Your abdomen is swollen.
- You are losing weight without trying.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You suddenly have trouble breathing.
- You vomit blood, or your vomit looks like coffee grounds.
- You have a fast heart rate, fast breathing, or are too dizzy to stand.
- You have severe pain in your stomach.
- You have tar-colored bowel movements, or you see blood in your bowel movements.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.