Life can be made considerably more complicated with the onset of Crohn’s Disease; however, with certain lifestyle changes, it can be managed to decrease day to day stress due to the disorder.
Although diet does not cause or cure the disease, it has been proven that certain foods may increase symptoms of Crohn’s, while others will decrease negative effects. There are several diets on the market; however, an individual approach will be more beneficial. Utilizing an elimination diet, in which certain foods are removed from your diet for a period of time and then reintroduced, will let you know which, if any, foods are contributing to the negative symptoms.
With medication and/or surgery, Crohn’s Disease can be controlled rather effectively. However, certain things should be enacted into your routine to ensure as little disruption as possible.
For example, always knowing where the bathrooms are located in the area you are in is a good rule of thumb. When you are out and about, an accident is the last thing you want to happen. While you should not necessarily avoid new places, becoming familiar with them very quickly may be essential to prevent uncomfortable situations. Also, carrying extra clothes with you may be a good idea, just in case.
An effective coping mechanism is to not face this disease alone – it helps to have a friend, family member, or even professional you can discuss your feelings with. It is not a good idea to keep things bottled up, get angry or resentful because this has taken place. While emotions do not cause Crohn’s Disease, they have been known to worsen symptoms; therefore the better your attitude, the better you will feel physically.
You must also become accustomed to taking medications, which may not have been necessary before. If this is the route your doctor wants to take, which most do, you have to be disciplined enough to abide by the schedule and regulations laid out to you.
Likewise, if surgery has become necessary, major lifestyle changes may be on the horizon. If a colostomy bag is necessary, you may feel embarrassed or disturbed at your newly required attachment. Try to look on the brighter side of things; while your health may be less than perfect, it could always be worse.
Probably the most difficult lifestyle change when dealing with Crohn’s Disease is trying to stay positive when faced with adversity. However, you will be better off in the long run if you do not allow yourself to become a victim of the disease.
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