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WHAT YOU NEED TO 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.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You suddenly have trouble breathing.
- You have a fast heart rate, fast breathing, or are too dizzy to stand.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You vomit blood, or your vomit looks like coffee grounds.
- You have severe pain in your stomach.
Call your doctor or gastroenterologist 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.
You may need any of the following:
- Medicines may be used to decrease inflammation in your digestive tract.
- Antibiotics treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Antidiarrheal medicine is given to decrease diarrhea.
- Steroids may be given to decrease inflammation.
- Immunosuppressants may be given to slow your immune system.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
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 healthcare provider may recommend that you take vitamins or minerals. Always ask your healthcare provider before you take vitamins or nutritional supplements.
Do not smoke:
Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage and increase your risk for Crohn disease. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
Follow up with your doctor or gastroenterologist 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 healthcare provider. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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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.
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