Discharge Instructions for Crohn’s Disease

You have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Your digestive tract is swollen and inflamed. All layers of your digestive tract may be affected. Although there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, you can receive treatment for the symptoms. Help manage your symptoms by following your healthcare provider’s advice and watching what you eat.

Home care

Recommendations for taking care of yourself at home include the following:

  • Work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the types of treatment that are best for you.

  • Take your medicines exactly as directed.

    • Let your healthcare provider know if you are having uncomfortable side effects.

    • Don’t stop taking your medicines without talking with your healthcare provider first.

  • It may be helpful to avoid certain foods for a little while. Depending on your condition, these may include caffeine (coffee, tea, and cola), spicy foods, milk products, and raw fruits and vegetables. For certain people, these can be hard to digest and can worsen symptoms in a flare-up. Your healthcare provider may have you work with a nutritionist to come up with the best food choices for you.

  • Try eating several small meals a day instead of 3 large ones.

  • Don't smoke. Tobacco smoking makes the disease worse. 

  • Keep appointments for regular checkups even if you are not having symptoms.

  • Talk to your healthcare provider about surgery for Crohn’s disease. Surgery won’t cure Crohn’s disease, but it may help control the symptoms. Only you and your healthcare provider can decide if this choice is right for you.

  • Learn more about your condition. Contact the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation toll-free at 800-932-2423 or www.ccfa.org

Managing nutrition

You may be able to eat most foods until you have a flare-up. But like anyone else, you need to make healthy eating choices. Some of the healthiest foods can make symptoms worse, though. Keeping track of your "problem foods" may be helpful. Ask your healthcare provider any questions you have about healthy eating.


When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Severe pain or bloating in your belly after meals

  • Sores in your mouth

  • Sores in your anal area (around your rectum)

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Poor appetite or weight loss

  • Bloody diarrhea

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Skin rashes or skin that weeps (or drains)

  • Changes in your vision