1. Don’t smoke.
If you have Crohn’s Disease and you smoke, you will likely have more flare-ups and emergency surgeries — and smokers are more likely to be diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in the first place. One more reason why if you smoke, you should STOP now.
2. Only drink in moderation.
Alcohol can irritate the lining of your intestinal tract and exacerbate your Crohn’s symptoms. It also may interfere with medications if you are taking any. Even if you find that you can tolerate alcohol, it’s important to limit how much you drink. I say try and not drink at all. I know this may not always be possible but set it as your goal.
3. Get regular exercise.
Both aerobic activity and resistance training can benefit in helping you if you have Crohn’s Disease. Exercise not only helps your digestive tract to work more efficiently, but it also can be a stress-reliever due to the release of endorphins, or feel-good hormones, that come with getting your blood pumping. Weight-bearing exercise also can help prevent osteoporosis (bone loss), a common complication of Crohn’s. Choose an exercise you enjoy to stay motivated.
4. Practice relaxation techniques.
This might include slow breathing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, or something else that you find relaxing. Do what works for you. It could even just be reading a book in a quiet place, listening to your favourite music, or spending time with friends and family. As you all know, I love to get out on my surfboard. Even when I was very unwell and couldn't surf just laying on it made me feel better.
5. Get enough sleep.
When you're tired, you're more likely to feel stressed, which can worsen your Crohn's symptoms. You'll sleep better at night if you stick to a routine, with a set time for getting up and going to bed on weekdays and weekends. Also, be sure to give yourself enough time to wind down before bed so you can focus on sleep and not other distractions. Turn off technology and don't sleep with these devices next to your bed.
6. Seek out support.
Find Crohn’s support groups online (ESPECIALLY NOW) or groups that meet face-to-face (HOPEFULLY IN THE FUTURE) near where you live or work. Having supportive friends and family can help, but they don’t know what it’s like to live with this every day. People who face the same challenges you do can share what works for them in a variety of situations, and this can offer you big emotional benefits. Also make sure you check out my Facebook Page - My Crohns Doctor.
7. Communicate what you feel is appropriate.
Are you stressed out from hiding your condition from co-workers or because you don't know what to tell friends and family? Everyone handles Crohn's differently, and you should decide for yourself who to tell, how much to tell them, and when.
My advice when you do want to share is to keep it simple with something like,
"I just want you to know I have a digestive disorder".
You may not feel comfortable sharing this, but it may help if your boss and co-workers know you have a digestive disorder so they're not wondering why you're frequently in the bathroom or may need to take more sick days than others. Or that some days you don't feel so good.
If you have any more questions then please free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Facebook Page at My Crohn's Doctor.
Yours in Health and Wellness
My Crohn's Doctor
LEGAL DISCLAIMER - This article (including links to any/all website pages, blog posts, blog comments, forum, videos, audio recordings, etc.) is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have an urgent medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Any application of the recommendations in this email is at the reader's discretion. My Crohn's Doctor and Dr Michael are not liable for any direct or indirect claim, loss or damage resulting from use of this email. Readers should consult their own physicians concerning the recommendations in this article.