While there is no absolute cure for Crohn’s disease, there are temporary treatments; those that can help ease the pains of Crohn’s for a limited time. These include surgery, and drug therapy.
Having surgery done for Crohn’s is usually only done once medication can no longer help the patient. A doctor performs a colectomy, which is where he cuts a small hole in the front of the abdomen wall and then takes a part in you called an ileum, which is found at the bottom of the small intestine and brings it to the surface of the skin.
After this is done, the doctors put a pouch where the hole is to collect waste that comes out. The patient simply removes the pouch and disposes of the waste. There are some people who can have only the infected section of their intestines taken out, and then the doctor takes the part that was above the infected area and the part below the infected area and puts those two parts together.
These two surgeries do not get rid of Crohn’s however. The disease does come back even after the surgeries, so keep that in mind when thinking about surgery. Surgery is also not for everyone with Crohn’s disease. Surgery is usually only used on people that medication no longer works for.
Drug therapy actually has six different types of therapy that is used. They are: Anti-inflammation drugs, cortisone or steroids, immune system suppressors, Infliximab, antibiotics, and Anti-Diarrheal and Fluid Replacements. These therapies are usually what most Crohn’s patients start with.
Anti-inflammation drug therapy uses Asacol, Dipentum, Pentasa, and Sulfasalazine. Sulfasalazine is the most commonly used drug. All the drugs listed above contain mesalamine, which is used to decrease inflammation.
Cortisone or steroids are usually used in very intense conditions where the disease is most highly active. Using this treatment is dangerous though, because the drugs used can cause very severe side effects.
Immune system suppressors simply suppress the body’s immune system to keep the body’s defenses from attacking things that are needed. Crohn’s disease can make the body’s immune system think that things such as food are bad, and so your immune system attacks it.
Infliximab is used to stop the body’s inflammation actions, which means it completely stops all parts of the body from becoming inflamed. While very useful and pain relieving, more research is needed to know what all can happen from taking this drug. Infliximab is also known as Remicade.
Antibiotics are used to cut down bacterium growth in the small intestine. This usually occurs after a surgery, and therefore antibiotics are only prescribed after a surgery to keep everything working without bacterium messing it all up.
Anti-Diarrheal and fluid replacements are used to relieve the patient from diarrhea and abdominal pain. Relieve usually comes shortly after inflammation subsides.