Crohn Disease in Children and Teens (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Self-Care at Home
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.
Andrew B. Grossman, MD
Petar Mamula, MD
Bhupinder Anand, MD
Venkatachala Mohan, MD
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Crohn's Disease in Children and Teens - Home Care
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