FAQ - Crohn Disease
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Does anyone have a hard time conceiving with Crohn's Disease?


I have a mild case of Crohn's disease and PCOS. I am afraid this will make it hard for me to conceive. Does anyone know about this?
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Hi, i have crohns and i am having a hard time conceiving i dont no if its because the to major surgeries i had or what, so i just pray and put it in GODS hands and have FAITH that i will be a mother one day when hes ready for me to. But i wish you lots of luck with crohns and conceiving. GOOD LUCK!! @ GOD BLESS!!  (+ info)

What are the most effective foods for combatting Crohn's Disease


My 15 yr old probably has Crohns (getting diagnosed later this month) - we've added probiotics, yogurt (which she was already eating) and she's eating more rice, rice cereal, all natural fruit smoothies, cooked fruits and veggies - in place of raw. What else should she be eating?
I know wholegrains can aggrevate her symptoms, as might dairy and fat. Have you found any foods that help? Is it true she's supposed to consume more protein?
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hi lynne, I am a female crohn's pt. dxed at the age of 12. I've had it for 28 yrs. now.

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America has some wonderful information on diet, woman's issues, the latest meds, etc as well as a live chat and a hotline that is run by healthcare experts during the week as well as a forum where family members and their loved ones with IBD can post questions to those in the same situation.

CCFA has many chapters throughout the USA for teens and adults. Their educational meetings are exceptional because the speakers they bring in are dieticians, drug reps, health insurance reps. colorectal surgeons, ostomates, GIs in the area, etc.

My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I can truly relate to trying to figure out what to eat. Luckily, I met a few dieticians at the local CCFA support meetings who have this disease so they truly knew what we deal with plus the fact that they had intense schooling and training before getting their diploma and license.

There is a book out for folks with GI disorders including Crohn's. I found it on the CCFA site store and it's written by a registered dietician. I love it b/c it offers alternatives on what to eat/drink when flaring, having nausea, gas, bloating, etc.

It's the American Dietetic Assoc. Guide to Better Digestion by Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD. It's well written and easy to understand. The ISBN code is 0-471-44223-2. Well worth adding to your Crohn's library.

I have found that when I flare, canned fruits and veggies are good seeing as it is easier to digest. You can also steam veggies to the point of mush. I also make smoothies w/lactose free milk and yogurt along w/a fruit such as a banana or strawberries and then put them all in a blender. Baby food is good if the esophagus is inflamed and it hurts to swallow. Basically, is a [email protected] shoot as to what she will be able to tolerate. I'd ask her primary MD for a referral to see a registered dietician b/c they are trained in dealing w/illness & special diets. good luck to you.
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Will Crohn's Disease affect the sex life of a gay man?


I found it very difficult to ask this question, but it needs be asked nonetheless. Because Crohn's Disease affects your bowels, would "gay sex" take an unhealthy toll on it? And if so, to what degree?
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Crohn's disease is an inflammatory condition. So yes, if the bowels are inflamed it can ruin the sex life of anyone, gay or straight.

So, the best thing to do is to keep the inflammation down. Start with an anti-inflammatory diet. Read about anti-inflammatory diet here:

http://www.journey-with-crohns-disease.com/anti-inflammatory-diet.html

Consider adding natural supplements that aid in improving any kind of Crohn's disease treatment.

Read more about natural supplements for Crohn's :

http://www.journey-with-crohns-disease.com/natural-supplements.html

I wish you all the best.  (+ info)

Has anyone else had any complications with Crohn's Disease?


I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in March...have been hospitalized for most of May and have had 3 surgeries. I had to quit my job because I am too sick to work. I am feeling a little hopeless.
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Hi Me, I am a female crohn's pt. like yourself. I've had it since I was 12 yrs. old. My heart goes out to you as I had to quit my job in 2000 due to a DVT in my leg. Crohnies are prone to clots when flaring b/c it causes the blood to become "sticky" when inflammation hits. That is why we are advised to avoid smoking, any type of hormonal birth control including the patch, shot, pill, etc. because it increases clotting faster (I learned this from 10 MDs who saw me 4 yrs. due to a 12" clot on my brain that caused a stroke & a brain bleed) thus, NFP is safer as it is easier to learn, 100% safe, can be used to achieve or avoid a pregnancy, & won't interfere w/Crohn's treatments unlike the pill which does. My husband & I have been using it successfully for 12 yrs. to avoid due to my Crohn's & it's complications that occur when active.

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America has a site you can go to for more information on women's issues, surgery, the latest treatments, as well as a live chat & hotline run by healthcare experts. There is even an open forum where you can post questions to others who have IBD (Croh's or Ulcerative Colitis). The site even lists local support chapters where you live so you can meet others like yourself. There are awesome educational meetings where guest speakers include drug reps, insurance reps, GI surgeons, dieticians, etc.

I belong to the local CCFA chapter near me and I've met amazing people in the same boat as myself. I've learned which doctors are the best in the area to treat CD, which ones to avoid, the best hospitals, etc. Definitely check out the CCFA site and attend a meeting.

Just know that you are not alone. CCFA is there to help you get through the rough times. Support chapters are great b/c you can make friends & have someone to talk to who truly understand what you are dealing with.  (+ info)

What meals can I make for Crohn's Disease Sufferers?


I have been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, and still don't under stand what kind of foods I can make for myself that will be good for me and my husband who has heart disease. Any answers will be a big help.
I suffer from Crohns' disease, my hubbby suffers from Heart Disease, and we need help with meals. I'm a farmers daughter, used to alot of fresh fruits and veggies, and all that good stuff. I'm learning slowly, and I have done research, but still no ideas for menu foods. Help!!
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Most importantly, foods that do not make you feel worse...

When I went through the diagnostic process, I focused on NOTHING except how sh***y I felt. Later on I realized that I felt better if I was more regular in daily activities. That means everything--exercise, eating, sleeping, and so on. It did take me years to get "better" and feel like I wasn't at risk of falling off of the remission wagon but after a while I stopped fearing it. I now feel great, I eat foods that are good for me in moderate quantities. I drink alcohol when I want, but never to excess. I drink coffee every morning but never at night. I still have internal bleeding problems, but I would say my flare ups are a couple of days at a time and maybe once a year, and they are not major ones. I can deal with that. Also I don't take drugs or run to the doctor anymore because that seemed to make it worse, getting tested, trying medication, feeling like crap, etc.

Of course, my experience counts only towards my life... yours may be totally the opposite. One thing about Crohn's Disease is that it affects different people in different ways.

By the way, I don't drink milk and I don't eat corn or anything that is "bad" for you (including nuts and stuff like that). But I DO eat salad almost every night for dinner, and eat carbohydrates in very minimal quantities. This may be something that could work for you too, but be careful.

Last, I noted that doctors do not know everything, despite often professing that they do. Therefore, do what makes you feel better and most of all (in my case) do it as regularly and as predictably as possible. For me that made ALL the difference between weighing 120# and being the normal 150. I used to practically puke when I saw food, I now feel great and get hungry often. In fact, I used to get sick from just SMELLING food. What a horrible life. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better, no exceptions. I am an avid mountain biker and I have a very nice life with minimal impact from Crohn's Disease.

This may be only my story... but if it happened to me it must be good for someone else, somewhere.  (+ info)

Is it possible to be hired as an FBI agent with Crohn's disease?


I looked all over online and connot tell if the FBI considers Crohn's as an automatic disqualifer when hiring. I was hoping someone possibly looked into this.
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Hi Burton

Not sure about the FBI, but here is how to heal your condition.

Causes
Crohn's disease can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor diet and nutrition, food allergies, imbalanced levels of hydrochloric acid, impaired immunity, infections, lack of exercise, "leaky gut" syndrome, pharmaceutical drugs, and stress.

Quick Action Plan for Crohn's Disease


1. Diet is of primary importance. Avoid all sugars, refined flour products, and carbohydrates, milk and dairy products, processed foods that contain preservatives and artificial sweeteners, alcohol, hydrogenated and trans-fatty oils, as well as foods that are common allergens.

2. Emphasize organic, fresh vegetables and non-citrus fruits, organic grains, as well as organic, free-range meats and poultry and wild-caught fish.

3. Drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day.

4. Enema containing butyric acid two to five times a week. (Add one tablespoon of butyric acid to one quart of warm water.) Do a Colon Cleanse to clean out the toxins in the body. A liver cleanse will help new blood penetrate the sick areas and help the healing process.

5. Supplements with vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, taken with a multivitamin/multimineral formula. Essential fatty acids, especial omega-3 oils, are also recommended.

6. Stress reduction through the use of various mind/body medicine techniques, such as biofeedback, hypnotherapy, meditation and relaxation exercises.

7. If you smoke, stop and if you are currently taking aspirin or other NSAIDs, consider replacing them with safer, more effective natural remedies.

8. Soothing baths two to five nights and alternating hot and cold water packs placed over the stomach and upper abdomen.

9. Juice remedies include aloe juice; wheatgrass juice; cabbage, papaya, and carrot juice; and carrot, beet, and cucumber juice.

10. Juice of half a lemon with warm water, especially in the morning.

11. Allow yourself to receive emotional support to help you embrace some of the common underlying issues identified with Crohn's, such as abandonment, anger, disappointment and rage, which often settle in the gut. Seek out a therapist or other skilled practitioner that can guide you through emotional healing work.

Best of health to you

Cheers  (+ info)

Please be kind. This is a serious question. How do you treat Crohn's Disease-associated anal skin tags?


My daughter has developed a very painful Crohn's related skin tag. It hurts especially when she has a bowel movement. I know that surgery is not recommended for removal of these specific skin tags, due to the risk of painful scarring. Do you have any tips to minimize the irritation? Ointments? I would particularly appreciate advice from Crohn's or UC patients or doctors. Thank you.
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There are many ointments available that can help your daughter, actually. Each person will find that they have their own preference, and some of them are only available by prescription, and may be necessary depending on the severity of the itching, location of the skin tag, and whether or not she is experiencing bleeding due to tearing from when she has BM's. The prescription ones tend to be localized corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation, itching, and swelling--since her physician has probably seen the skin tag, she/he may actually be able to best recommend the type of ointment that will help her...there are many classes of ointments, from simple local anesthetics like lanacane to corticosteroids to vasoconstrictors to astringents. In the meantime, I would try using over the counter Lanacane or some sort of hemorrhoid relief topical relief.

In addition to topical ointments, there are practical considerations. Perianal itching, from tags and otherwise is increased by moisture. I know that wiping after a BM can be incredibly painful in her situation, but it is imperative that she finds a way to clean herself thoroughly, because if she does not, it can irritate her skin. Some patients invest in a bidet to help with this. Usually moist toilettes are preferable to toilet paper. Next, without wiping, she should pat until she is thoroughly dry, because any moisture fosters itching. The moisture from frequent BM's is increased in Crohn's patients and allows yeast and bacteria to build up, as well as just irritates the skin, She should find that being diligent about cleaning and drying is actually helpful.

Reducing the acidity of her diet can help reduce the acidity of her BM's such that if she is having incredible irritation, it is less painful to pass them and the skin becomes less irritated by each one. Tomatoes, carbonated beverages, tea or coffee, milk, cheese and hot peppers are often the offenders that increase the acidity.

Good luck.  (+ info)

How do you assist your partner who has Crohn's disease?


How do you help them in getting a better quality of life or in giving them emotional support?
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hi sal, as a fellow female crohnie for 27 yrs. I would suggest educating yourself on Crohn's disease. My husband did that for me while we were dating. He attended the educational and local support chapters in order to learn about what I go through daily. To this day, when I am flaring, he will make sure I have my meds, Gatoraid, and a call in to my GI if I am in serious pain or take me to the ER if I am having a blockage.

For more information check out the Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America site. You can find tons of information on diet, latest treatments, surgery, medicine to get it in remission, coping skills, as well as locating a support chapter where you live. You can meet others like your partner and swap stories and ideas on what may/may not help. There is even an 800 listed on the site manned by medical professionals familiar with IBD M-F 9 am - 5 pm (EST) as well as a live chat w/a professional.

Knowledge is power. The more you know from a reliable source such as CCFA, ppl who actually have IBD (Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis), and your GI since their main objective is to get their pts. in remission, the easier it is to cope.

Make sure that GI appts. are kept, medications are being taken and questions are asked if uncertain about it, and smoking and drinking are avoided as it can interfere w/treatment. The pharmacist is also very helpful when the doctor can't be reached when you have questions about side effects & drug interactions. I call mine all the time whenever my regime changes.

Feel free to email me if you have questions. I am an active member and volunteer of the local CCFA chapter

Another suggestion is to ask the MD for a referral to see a registered dietician at a local health care facility. They have the most experience b/c they deal w/ppl with IBD all the time or you can go to the american dietician association site (provided below) and find an RD where you live instead of going to the hosptial.  (+ info)

Whats the chances of my future child having Crohn's Disease?


I am a 22 year old female and my husband and I are planning on a child. Currnenty, my little brother has it, my cousin David, and my other cousins Donny's son. It seems to run on the male side.. Is there a good chance if I have a son he might have it? I know genes are tricky but since so many males in my family have it im nervous. They dont develop it until a few years old. Thanks!
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hi kim, I am a female crohn's pt. like yourself.

That answer is basically a crap shoot as it varies in each person. If you check out the Crohn's & Colitis Foudation's site, they have a live chat & hotline that is by healthcare experts as well as an open forum where you can post this question to others who have CD or ulcerative colitis. You will definitely get more responses there than here as there are many couples who wonder the same thing. There is also great info on women's issues, pregnancy w/IBD, diet, surgery, as well as finding a local CCFA support group near you.

Hope this helps and I wish you the very best.  (+ info)

What are good ways for a person with Crohn's Disease to gain weight?


I know everyone is different, but what works for you or people you know?
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Based on my experience with Crohn's having had it for the past 21 years...it depends on the person.

I hate, with a passion, prednisone and prednisolone because of the side effects and long term effects they have.

What I have found that helps me is making sure I have breakfast in the morning...doesn't matter what, but definitely something more than toast or pop tarts. Make sure you have plenty of food to snack on throughout the day but moderate the junk food and balance it with stuff that is a little more health friendly (not saying go all health freak but mix in some health food), eat a sandwich in the middle of the morning (around 10am or so if you run on an 8-5 day), your regular lunch, a sandwich or something similar around 3 or so, and then your regular full dinner. Also some working out will help, not only with the weight, but also with bone density that can be an issue with CD as a result of meds.

Make sure you are also eating as balanced a diet as you are able to handle if you have dietary restrictions.

Weight gainers have never worked for me, but with eating essentially 5 meals a day.

Check out the website www.trueguts.com for a documentary of 3 young people with CD that is well well worth seeing. If you have myspace look up true guts on there too.

Best advice period, and in general, do not let the disease control you, you are the one in control. Live your life as you did before the diagnosis, and think of it as an annoyance and not a problem.

Hope that helps some. I am always open to questions and dialogue about Crohn's if you have any.  (+ info)

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