Most of the people feel they have been handed a whole life of misery and pain when first diagnosed with crohns. Life as you know it seems to have come to an end, and the future is bleak. How are you going to function on a daily basis? How can you possible continue working or taking care of a family? How are you going to cope with the symptoms? Will people treat you differently? They will not understand. After all, it is not something you can discuss at the dinner table. How can you possible explain what you are going through? You need to know that if you, or someone you love, have been diagnosed with crohns disease , you are not alone.
Of course, your mind will be just spinning with worries and concerns. You will naturally be looking for answers to a myriad of questions. You probably want the answers to some really common inquires like:
- Can you still work and travel?
- What can I eat?
- Will friends and family understand?
- What about the medications?
You are not alone. Right now, your symptoms are probably raging. You might be having difficulty working, because you are constantly in/out of the bathroom, and the fatigue is unreal. But, it will probably not always be like this. With the proper treatment, you may even have times that you forget you have a chronic illness. You may have to be more aware of your body, and take your disease into consideration. But, most people with crohns are still able to work, travel and lead a relatively normal life.
When you have crohns, you have to learn to eat to live, and not live to eat. You may have to use the elimination diet to figure out what you can and cannot eat. Some foods will be great. Others can set off your symptoms and make your life miserable. Unfortunately, there is not set diet for crohns. What may make you sicker than you have ever been does not necessarily affect someone else who has the disease.
For example, caffeine products will tend to make matters worse. Your doctor will probably suggest giving up sodas and coffee. If you think you want to see if your system can tolerate a forbidden food or beverage that day, and you are willing to take the chance, be selective. Make sure you do not have to be anywhere but home and close to the restroom.
Many people also have trouble with dairy products. However, yogurt is generally tolerated. The active cultures may actually be good for your colon. You might be able to eat hard cheeses, even if you cannot handle a glass of milk. Basically, you will have to go through the process of trial and error, to learn what you can/cannot eat to keep your crohns at bay.
Crohns is not exactly something that is talked about. Unfortunately, that is one of the reasons it is such a shock, when you are diagnosed. Lots of people have the disease, but how do you tell your friends and family about a chronic illness that causes severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue , vomiting and more. No one wants to hang around someone who has limited energy and always sick.
But, if you can bring yourself to discuss your health challenges with those you love, it will make the disease so much easier to live with, in the end. If they really care, they will understand, and be glad to accommodate the disease. If you try to keep a positive attitude, those you love will understand when you cannot socialize with alcohol any longer, or they need to come visit you, because you need to stay close to the bathroom. Chances are your loved ones will help you monitor your disease, and admonish you to properly take care of yourself. When they see your symptoms getting worse, you will likely be strongly encouraged to see the doctor.
All those Pills!
If you have crohns, you are likely to be on one or more medications for the rest of your life. When the symptoms are mild, you may not have to take so many. But, when crohns is at its worse, you may have to take several different types, just to make it through the day.
Some medications are no big deal. However, others can have unpleasant side effects. Your doctor should let you know what to expect. But, you can also go online and do a search on your prescriptions. In addition, the pharmacy will include a report on the medication. Read, become informed, and let your doctor know any unpleasant reactions. For example, steroids may be necessary on occasion, to get crohns under control. But, you may experience weight gain, trouble sleeping, or even the urge to climb the walls because you are so jittery. Warn your loved ones, and know that it is only temporary, until crohns is back under control.
In short, you may have to adjust your life to accommodate crohns, but it does not have to control everything you do. Learn what you can about the disease, and pay attention to your body, so you can recognize a change in symptoms before they get out of control. Then, you can learn to live with crohns and actually begin to enjoy life again.
For more information
About Crohn’s Disease