At Temple Health, we understand that every individual is different when it comes to diagnosing, treating and managing Crohn’s disease. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program is a group of experienced, board-certified gastroenterologists who are committed to delivering the latest advances in care for Crohn’s disease.
Today, treatment for Crohn’s focuses on several goals:
- Relieve symptoms
- Reduce frequency of flare-ups
- Prevent or treat serious complications
- Correct nutritional deficiencies
- Gain control over the disease
- Feel better
Medication is the most effective approach to treating Crohn’s. Options include:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs – Anti-inflammatories can help treat mild or moderate episodes of Crohn’s disease and prevent flare-ups.
- Corticosteroids – Steroid injections can help curb serious inflammation but may cause side effects.
- Immune suppressors – Some immune suppression medicine can help stop your body’s immune system from attacking healthy tissue in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which may cause chronic inflammation.
- Biological therapies – One of the newest advances in care, biological therapies can help treat Crohn’s disease and encourage remission of the disease.
- Antibiotics – Crohn’s can sometimes lead to infections in the intestine and GI tract, which require antibiotics to treat.
- Over-the-counter medicine – Your gastroenterologist may also discuss how certain over-the-counter medicine can help manage symptoms, such as pain and diarrhea.
Natural Treatment Options
Medication and therapy is just one part of effectively managing Crohn’s disease. Natural treatment, including diet and lifestyle modification can also help reduce flare-ups and alleviate symptoms. Your care team will work closely with you to develop a plan that restores healthy bacteria in the gut. Talk with your physician about an approach that’s right for you.
When Is Surgery Necessary?
Surgery may be required for moderate to severe cases of Crohn’s disease. Your provider may recommend surgery if:
- Symptoms are severe.
- Medication is not working.
- Natural treatment, including diet and lifestyle modification, is not working.
At Temple Health, we offer a wide range of surgical options to help treat and manage your condition:
- Intestinal resection – Surgeons remove the diseased section of the intestine and connect healthy ends of the intestines to alleviate pain and symptoms.
- Colectomy – In very severe cases of Crohn’s the entire colon may need to be removed.
- Protocolectomy – The rectum and part of the colon is removed.
- Ileostomy or colostomy – When parts of or the entire colon is removed, a ileostomy or colostomy is needed to move waste through the body. The remaining end of the small intestine or part of the colon will be brought to the skin surface. An ostomy pouch covers the opening to collect stool.
- Stricturoplasty – Scarred or narrowed portions of the intestine are opened wider to prevent bowel obstruction.
- Minimally invasive procedures – Surgical procedures can help alleviate pain and symptoms caused by Crohn’s, including draining abscesses (infections), enteroscopy and fissure or fistula repair.
Committed to Ongoing Care
Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that requires ongoing care, even when the disease is in “remission” or not active. Your gastroenterologist and care team will work closely with you to monitor your health and condition, helping to prevent recurrence and avoid serious complications from Crohn’s.
At Temple Health, our ongoing care includes:
- Monitoring your overall GI health, including discussing new symptoms and adjusting your treatment plan
- Checking for serious side effects of Crohn’s disease or treatment therapies
- Following up with necessary surgeries
- Routinely screening for colon cancer
- Administering routine vaccinations to prevent serious complications
- Treating simple health problems, like bronchitis, that can cause complications