Crohn’s disease is characterized by alternating periods of heavy disease activity (flare-ups) and remission (few or no symptoms). During a flare-up, patients frequently experience discomfort or pain.
You don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. Here are a few suggestions for easing the pain caused by Crohn’s.

Reduce stress. Yes, having a chronic disease is stressful. However, stress does produce real physical responses in your body. For one thing, it increases the production of proteins that regulate immune and inflammatory functions. The last thing you want if you have Crohn’s is more inflammation.

While research linking disease activity and stress is inconclusive, many Crohn’s patients believe there is a direct correlation. In addition to reducing pain, reducing stress will better help you cope with the disease and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep modulates your immune system, so a chronic lack of quality sleep can initiate, or aggravate, symptoms from Crohn’s disease. Think of your bed as another tool in your disease management toolkit, and try to get seven or eight hours of sleep every day.

Add Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, one of the good fats our body needs to be healthy. Omega-3 is found in foods and fish oil supplements, and has shown to be effective in reducing inflammation.

Roll out the red carpet for the microbes. Our digestive system is teaming with microbes, or tiny organisms. When we’re healthy, we have more good microbes than bad. These friendly organisms need a healthy environment in which to grow. However, Crohn’s may cause the immune system to overreact to microbes in the digestive tract, disrupting the healthy balance. You can increase the number of good microbes in your digestive systems and provide a nourishing environment for them with supplements.

Probiotic supplements are ingestible forms of friendly bacteria, and probiotics are food ingredients that support the growth of these beneficial organisms. In pilot studies, Crohn’s patients who brought these into their diet showed an improvement in symptoms. You can find these supplements in most health food stores.

Try hypnosis. In at least one study, patients with ulcerative colitis, another form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, showed improvement in symptoms after being hypnotized. Hypnosis may improve immune function and therefore produce similar results in people who have Crohn’s.

Try homeopathic or herbal remedies. Many herbs and homeopathic remedies are believed to help reduce inflammation, prevent cancer, and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort. Some herbs do not interact well with certain prescription drugs and can cause harm if used improperly. Always seek herbal or homeopathic treatment from someone professionally trained in these practices, and discuss all of your treatment methods with your physician.