Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

5 Ways to Prevent a Crohn’s Flare-Up

5 Ways to Prevent a Crohn’s Flare-Up

There’s no cure for Crohn’s disease yet, but there are plenty of ways to keep it in check. Dr. Darrien Gaston at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, expertly diagnoses and treats Crohn's disease

He also recommends the following practical tips for all our patients looking to decrease the frequency and severity of Crohn’s flare-ups.

1. Take your medications as directed

Medication won’t cure Crohn’s disease, but it can significantly reduce the inflammation that triggers a flare-up and ease the pain and other symptoms. 

Dr. Gaston may prescribe corticosteroids, immune system suppressants, biologics, or aminosalicylates, depending on your medical history and the severity of your symptoms. If you take medication to manage your Crohn’s symptoms, follow Dr. Gaston’s instructions to the letter for the best chance at curbing flare-ups.

2. Relax

Stress is a well-known trigger of Crohn’s disease flare-ups, so do your best to keep it to a minimum. Avoid unnecessary stressful situations when you can, and prepare your mind and body to deal better with those you can’t. For example, regular exercise and meditation can help you ward off excess stress.

3. Eat mindfully

Everything you eat and drink either helps or harms your Crohn’s gut. Because every person with Crohn’s is different, we can’t tell you exactly what to eat and what to avoid until you keep a food diary and determine your unique triggers. 

Some of the most common foods that cause Crohn’s flare-ups include:

Once you figure out which ingredients lead to inflammation, diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal pain, and urgent bowel movements, you can eliminate them from your diet and reduce your flare-ups. 

4. Say no to NSAIDs

NSAIDs, also known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are common pain relievers containing ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. You may know them better by their brand names: Advil®, Aleve®, or Tylenol®. Although it seems like anything that lowers inflammation would be good for Crohn’s disease, these particular drugs also lower prostaglandins, a hormone that protects your gut from acid by amping up the amount of mucus in your stomach. 

A lack of prostaglandins can cause stomach irritation and a Crohn’s flare-up, so stick with the medication Dr. Gaston prescribes. 

5. Don’t smoke

If you don’t smoke, you can check this one off your list and consider yourself ahead of the game. But if you’re a smoker, quit now or risk worsening your Crohn’s disease flare-ups.

The chemicals in tobacco raise your risk of developing Crohn’s disease and trigger flare-ups in many people who have Crohn’s. Quitting not only reduces your flare-ups, but it may also decrease your need for medication.

To talk to Dr. Gaston about your Crohn’s disease flare-ups, call us at 773-245-0347 or schedule an appointment online

You Might Also Enjoy...

Heartburn vs. Acid Reflux: What's the Difference?

You often hear the terms “acid reflux” and “heartburn” used interchangeably, but they’re not the same. Here’s what you need to know about heartburn and acid reflux, how they affect you, and what you can do about them.

How to Manage IBS Triggers Through the Holidays

Juggling to-do lists, planning and attending parties, and all that food — the holidays are packed with everything you and your IBS try to avoid the rest of the year. Don’t panic. These tips help you handle the season with fewer symptoms and more joy.

When Should I Get a Colonoscopy?

The number of folks under 50 diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer has steadily risen since the mid-1990s, prompting a recommendation for earlier screenings. Keep reading to find out when you should come in for a colonoscopy.