Managing Your Crohn’s Disease
What Is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn's disease (CD) is one of two conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (the other is ulcerative colitis). The overactive immune system of someone living with Crohn's disease causes the body to attack its own cells. The result is inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract. Learn more about CD below, to help add confidence to your plan for managing it.
Affects nearly 800,000 people in the US
Affects about the same number of men as women
Can occur at any age, although it usually develops between the ages of 15-35
Common Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Crohn’s disease, by definition, is a chronic disease. Typically, people experience periods of remission with no noticeable symptoms at all, followed by a sudden return of symptoms, called a flare. While the cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, environmental factors can be a trigger for Crohn's disease flares, as well as immune system issues. It is also thought that genetics can play a role.
When All You Feel Are Your Flares
Many of the choices you make every day are influenced by your condition, like what you eat, how you socialize, where you go, and how long you can stay. Living with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease often means planning every detail to work around your condition.
When's the last time you had some spontaneous fun since being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease?
Along with how you spend your time, Crohn’s disease can also impact your self-esteem and relationships with others. When considering how to treat Crohn’s disease, these emotional effects are just as important to consider as the physical.
Crohn’s disease really takes a toll on your ability to accomplish things.
- Becca, CIMZIA patientIndividual results may vary.
Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease
It can take some time to receive a Crohn’s disease diagnosis; other bowel disease conditions can cause many of the same symptoms, and your doctor may have to perform a series of tests in order to rule out other possible causes.
Early diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and get your disease into remission—that’s why it’s so important to talk to a gastroenterologist to fully understand the complexities of Crohn’s disease and how to find the right treatment for you.
Download our Doctor Discussion Guide to help guide the conversation and add confidence to your treatment plan.
What May Trigger a Crohn’s Disease Flare?
While there is no remedy that cures or prevents this condition, lifestyle changes may help control flare-ups of Crohn’s disease symptoms. The following is not a complete list of factors that may trigger a Crohn’s disease flare, but a few of the most common.
Take note of how certain foods make you feel to identify “trigger foods.” Talk to your doctor to formulate a Crohn’s disease diet plan that works for you. When you are what you can’t eat, it could be time to make a change.
Help manage stress by regularly exercising and using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Quit smoking to decrease your risk of developing Crohn’s disease (or making the condition worse) and improve your digestive tract health.
How To Treat Crohn’s Disease
There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but there are treatment options to help reduce the inflammation (cause of symptoms) and offer long-term remission. Degrees of relief and treatment results vary from patient to patient. Only you can determine if you are getting the symptom relief you had hoped for, and what works at one point of your Crohn’s disease experience may not work at another.
If you’re still experiencing symptoms on your current treatment, talk to your doctor about how to reduce the chronic inflammation that can lead to further damage to your GI tract.
CIMZIA (certolizumab pegol), as a biologic for Crohn’s disease, works inside the body, and may help people achieve or regain results when other treatment options haven’t worked. Ask your gastroenterologist how CIMZIA may work for you.
By keeping track of your symptoms, writing down any questions you have, and being open with your gastroenterologist about what you’re experiencing, you can find the treatment that’s appropriate for you, even if you've been on other biologics before.
To ensure a productive conversation at your next appointment, download our Doctor Discussion Guide.
Resources For Support
CIMplicity® is a free program that provides support at each step of your experience when treating your Crohn’s disease with CIMZIA (certolizumab pegol). For more details, enroll now.*
*The CIMplicity program is provided as a service of UCB and is intended to support the appropriate use of CIMZIA. The CIMplicity program may be amended or canceled at any time without notice. Some program and eligibility restrictions may apply.