Treating Crohn’s Disease One Step at a Time

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

“Change alone is unchanging.” This is a popular quote by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and it serves as a useful reminder that nothing we know today will stay the same tomorrow. We change, the weather changes, our jobs change and yes, our health changes.

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Even if you are struggling with a chronic condition like Crohn’s disease is Los Angeles your health will be subject to change. Sometimes it will change for the better, sometimes it will change for the worse, and sometimes the IBD symptoms you have learned to control will cease to be a problem as they are replaced with new, unknown symptoms that you are barely able to recognize.

Most people who have Crohn’s disease know that the disease can present itself in a variety of ways. Even if you know someone else with Crohn’s disease, you may realize that the way you experience the condition is different, and that your coping mechanisms aren’t as helpful to each other. However, many people do not realize that their own symptoms can shift dramatically over time, and as they shift your treatment regimen will need to shift with them.

Crohn’s is Unpredictable

Crohn’s disease is different from many other conditions in that it comes in waves. Most Crohn’s patients refer to these waves as flare-ups. Flares of symptoms are not steady. They may come in short bursts or linger for a month or week, and then disappear altogether for an extended period of time. As you grow accustomed to the disease, you may be able to recognize the early signs of a flare up and prepare yourself for the symptoms ahead, but what happens when these symptoms change?

Colorectal specialists advise Crohn’s and colitis patients to become increasingly aware of how their body feels at their healthiest point, and to track any ill feelings as they develop. This will help you stay prepared for a flare-up even if symptoms begin differently than they have in the past. For example, if you are accustomed to bouts of diarrhea, it is not wise to ignore lingering constipation. Symptoms change over time, and you need to be ready to adjust your management skills to accommodate those changes.

Never abandon a coping skill just because you are starting to experience new symptoms. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can change based on where in the digestive tract inflammation is occurring, as well as what specifically triggered the flare-up. Talk with your colorectal surgeon to learn ways to control your IBD, and if you do begin experiencing new symptoms contact your doctor right away.

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