Healthy Living

10 Lifestyle Changes for Crohn's and Colitis

10 Lifestyle Changes for Crohn's and Colitis

It is safe to say that the general population is becoming more aware of how lifestyle impacts health. The media, healthcare providers, and friends and family members all say sleep, diet, stress and more can often make big changes in general health, either for better or worse.

Yet, in an American society, in a country that spends more money on healthcare than any other, it is no surprise that people place so much trust in those “quick fixes” like many pharmaceuticals. Likely, because it is so easy obtain these things. It is certainly easier than making lifestyle changes!

Lifestyle modifications can be extremely effective

Making lifestyle changes to improve your health can involve undoing years or even decades of habits for some people. This is not easy, and requires immense support from providers, family, and friends. Yet for some people with chronic diseases who have become frustrated by the lack of success of medications and treatment routines, this may be a promising option. For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), this is especially true. Lifestyle changes have proven to be effective in managing symptoms and preventing flare-ups in many people with IBD. So, if given the right resources and support, this can be a reasonable option for many.

IBD includes both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. UC is a condition that causes inflammation that is generally restricted to the large intestine, while Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus. Some symptoms for both can include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, cramps, urgency, fever, and feeling like you have not fully evacuated your bowels.

A quick search on the internet will produce numerous websites that provide recommended lifestyle changes, so it can be difficult to know where to start! It is also important that if you make these changes, you realize that it can take some time for the benefits to show. Don’t write something off just because you are not seeing any changes in the first week.

A recent article published a list of lifestyle changes that can help people manage their IBD. If you are unsure of where to start, some of the things on this list may be a good place to begin. Just remember to consult with your healthcare team before making any lifestyle changes. This will ensure that you are doing it in a healthy and beneficial way and will also make sure that you have the support that you need. It's important to strike a natural balance between any medications you're taking and other, alternative means of care. Alternative care is not meant to replace traditional medical care, but many medical professionals see the value in using them together. This concept is known as integrative medicine.

Read on to learn 10 lifestyle modification tips that could potentially benefit Crohn's or colitis symptoms.