When someone gets a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, all they remember at first is that there is no cure. They imagine living with the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms for the rest of their lives. However, it’s important to remember that the best thing to do is to educate yourself about what will cause flares and how to avoid them. There are multiple ways to mitigate symptoms including these 7 lifestyle habits that can improve symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Reduce Stress in Your Life
We know, it’s easy to say, but much harder to do. Stress does not cause symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but it certainly can aggravate them. Anything you can do to lessen stress will only benefit you. Try yoga, take up tai chi, learn meditation techniques, and do more of the things you truly love. Listen to your favorite music, read, or do some gardening. Practice purposeful relaxation.
Add Exercise into Your Life
This is another lifestyle change that will help to reduce stress levels. Exercising releases endorphins to make us feel better, and our digestive tract will work more efficiently too. If you add in resistance training, you can help prevent osteoporosis, which is a common complication of Crohn’s disease.
Limit Your Indulgences
Avoid alcohol consumption as it can irritate the lining of your stomach and intestinal tract, which can each worsen the symptoms of Crohn’s. Limit is the key word. Get to know your “limits.” Maybe you can enjoy a single beer or glass of wine without symptoms. Keep a journal to know for sure what will trigger your symptoms.
Smoking is another subject altogether. Since smoking puts you at a higher risk for getting Crohn’s disease, if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, stop as soon as humanly possible! Smoking can increase the amount of flares and the number of emergency surgeries needed by individuals with Crohn’s disease.
Since Crohn’s disease can interfere with proper absorption of nutrients, ask Colorectal Surgical Associates what supplements you should be taking to make sure your body is obtaining all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy.
Get the Sleep You Need
If you have never before concentrated on healthy sleep, now is the time to begin. When you are tired, you obviously can become stressed. See the connection?
Pick a routine and stick to it. Find ways to make your bedroom conducive for sleep and relaxation, like keeping the temperature cool, closing the blinds and curtains, and turning off the TV or other devices. Give yourself a chance to unwind for a restful night’s sleep.
Choose Healthy Whole Foods
This can be one of the most important lifestyle habits that can improve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
They include some of the following:
- Avoid all packaged foods and only consume fresh, whole foods
- Limit caffeine as it will only aggravate symptoms like diarrhea
- Eat smaller quantities of food several times during the day instead of big meals
- Cook or steam vegetables and fruits but peel off their skin to make them more easy to digest
- Avoid greasy and fatty foods, cream sauces, butter and margarine
You can still eat nutritious and delicious meals, you just have to pay a bit more attention to what goes into your body.
Drink Lots of Water
Water is good for everyone, including those who suffer from Crohn’s symptoms. You lose lots of water with frequent trips to the restroom, so you need to be sure and replace it to maintain a healthy body.
See Colorectal Surgical Associates if you think you may be experiencing symptoms of Crohn’s disease, or if you have questions about your diet.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (816) 941-0800 today!