While there is no cure, Crohn's disease is treatable. Many medications can help control the symptoms of Crohn's disease. These include:
- Aminosalicylates are anti-inflammatory medications. Examples include mesalamine (also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid or 5-ASA), olsalazine, and sulfasalazine*. Depending on the type, these medications are taken orally or rectally.
- Corticosteroids such as budesonide, hydrocortisone, and prednisone. These medications reduce swelling and tissue damage.
- Immune modifiers such as azathioprine and methotrexate help suppress the immune system so that the body stops attacking its own tissues. Many of these medications are also used for managing other immune diseases.
- Antibiotics such as metronidazole and ciprofloxacin. These medications can prevent and treat bacterial growth on infected wounds in the bowels.
- Antitumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, also known as biologics, such as adalimumab and infliximab, are given as injections to people with moderate-to-severe symptoms when other treatments are not effective.
Just as important as medications in the treatment of Crohn's disease is a good diet. Not only are some foods gentler on an inflamed intestine, it's also vital to get the right nutrition even when the gut isn't processing food efficiently. The wrong diet can lead to weight loss and more symptoms. There are special high-calorie liquid supplements that can help. Your doctor will make recommendations on dietary requirements.
Unlike ulcerative colitis, Crohn's can't be completely cured by surgery. Removing an inflamed part of the colon may offer many symptom-free years. But eventually, inflammation often recurs at the site where the two cut ends have been joined together, causing symptoms to appear again.
Surgery may involve surgical removal of the colon or small intestine, removing a part in the middle and reattaching the loose ends. If the rectum is diseased, however, it is removed with the whole colon. The small intestine is then attached to a hole created in the side of the abdomen, creating an ileostomy. (If only a part of the colon has been removed and the remaining portion is attached to a hole created in the side of the abdomen, the opening is called a colostomy.) Waste collects in an external pouch attached to these openings, and needs to be changed on a regular basis. These pouches can emit smells and noises. A person considering surgery must weigh the risks and benefits of surgery very carefully with their doctor, bearing in mind that it's not always a complete solution but often necessary. Consult your doctor for additional information and to find out if surgery is a feasible option for you.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Crohns-Disease