Crohn's Disease (cont.)
In most cases, the diseased part of the bowel is removed and the two healthy ends of bowel are joined together (anastomosis). This surgery can allow many people to remain symptom-free for years, but it is not a cure since Crohn's disease often recurs at the site of the anastomosis.
Unfortunately, too many resection surgeries can lead to a condition called short gut syndrome where there isnt enough bowel left to adequately absorb nutrients.
Other surgeries include repair of parts of the intestine that have narrowed (a stricture) or abscessed (infection).
An ileostomy may also be required if the rectum is diseased and cannot be utilized for an anastomosis. This is a connection of the intestine to the skin overlying the abdominal wall. The result is an opening in the skin from which waste products can be excreted into a specially designed pouch.
Treatment By Activity or Location of Disease
Mild-moderate disease (of the ileum or colon):
People with persistent symptoms despite taking Remicade or steroids or those with symptoms of serious illness should be hospitalized. Treatment includes:
Maintenance therapy to prevent relapse:
What Role Does Diet Play in Crohn's Disease?
While foods appear to play no role in causing the disease, soft, bland foods may cause less discomfort than spicy or high-fiber foods when the disease is active. Except for restricting milk in lactose intolerant people, most gastroenterologists try to be flexible in planning the diets of their Crohn's disease patients. Ask your doctor to create a dietary plan for you.
Reviewed by The Cleveland Clinic Department of Gastroenterology.
WebMD Medical Reference
Last Editorial Review: 2/17/2006