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Other Lifestyle Changes

Beside diet, other lifestyle changes can help relieve Crohn's disease symptoms in some people. Some of these lifestyle changes include:
  • Quitting the use of tobacco products (if you use them)
  • Learning how to manage stress better
  • Seeking support through support groups or counseling.
(Click Living With Crohn's Disease for more information.)

When Is Nutritional Supplementation Needed?

Healthcare providers may recommend nutritional supplements, especially for children whose growth has been slowed. Special high-calorie liquid formulas are sometimes used for this purpose. A small number of people may need to be fed through an IV for a brief time. This procedure can help people who need extra nutrition temporarily, those whose intestines need to rest, or those whose intestines cannot absorb enough nutrition from food.

When Is Surgery Needed for Treating Crohn's Disease?

If medications and dietary and lifestyle changes aren't successful in treating Crohn's disease, surgery may be recommended. In fact, most people (up to 75 percent) with Crohn's disease will have some type of surgery during their lifetime.
There are several types of surgery that healthcare providers may recommend. These include:
  • Strictureplasty
  • Resection
  • Colectomy or proctocolectomy
  • Surgery for an abscess and/or fistula.
Surgery can help relieve symptoms or treat complications associated with the condition; however, surgery is not a cure for Crohn's disease. For example, if part of the colon or small intestine is removed, the inflammation tends to return next to the area of intestine that has been removed. Therefore, people considering surgery should carefully weigh its risks and benefits compared to those of other treatments.
(Click Crohn's Disease Surgery to learn more.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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