Crohn Disease in Children and Teens (cont.)
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What is the treatment for Crohn's disease in children and teens?
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The general goals for treatment of children with Crohn's disease are: (1) achieve the best possible control of the disease with the fewest and mildest treatment side effects, (2) promote growth through adequate nutrition, and (3) permit the child to live "a normal life" of school, sports, and other activities.
A child with Crohn's disease should be treated by a team of experts consisting of a primary health care professional, a gastroenterologist, a nutritionist, a social worker, nurses, and a psychologist/counselor and other professionals as needed. A critical factor in successful management of this disease is the family's willingness to participate and cooperate with the team.
What measures and remedies can be done at home to help manage the symptoms of Crohn's disease in children and teens?
Any self-care regimen should be based on the instructions given by the medical team. Parents and caregivers can best help a child by learning all they can about Crohn's disease, understanding how the disease affects a child, and providing support, encouragement, and reassurance to the child. Children who are old enough should be encouraged to learn about their disease and participate in the decisions about their care. Parents and caregivers also play an important role in making certain that the child takes all medical treatment as directed, and gets adequate nutrition.
No special diet is required for children with Crohn's disease. The only rule is to avoid any food that makes the symptoms become worse. This varies from person to person, but foods that cause problems for many people are milk and other dairy products, spicy foods, and high-fiber foods. Patients should avoid foods that are difficult to digest, such as uncooked vegetables, popcorn, seeds, and nuts, since they can block the intestine.
Children and teens with Crohn's disease should remain as active as possible. There is no need to limit a child's physical activity. The only exception is children who develop weak bones or osteoporosis from long-term steroid use. Because their bones may break more easily than usual, they should avoid contact sports.
Do not give a child vitamins and mineral supplements without an OK from the child's health care professional. Ask about giving the child nonprescription medications such as diarrhea remedies, pain relievers, fever relievers, cold and cough medications.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2016
Andrew B. Grossman, MD
Bhupinder Anand, MD
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Crohn's Disease in Children and Teens - Experience
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Crohn's Disease in Children and Teens - Treatment
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Crohn's Disease in Children and Teens - Home Care
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Crohn's Disease in Children and Teens - Medications
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Crohn's Disease in Children and Teens - Surgery
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Crohn's Disease in Children, Teens - Symptoms
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