How to Treat Joint Pain Associated With Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease, an autoimmune disorder, causes inflammation in the digestive tract, affecting the mouth, stomach, small and large intestine, bowel and anus. The symptoms includes abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, anemia and fever. Joint pain is a major symptom of Crohn's disease and can be genetic or acquired. The joint pain typically occurs when veins lose fluids due to diarrhea and dehydration. Pain and swelling can occur in the intestines and joints. Treatment includes medication and dietary changes.

Things You'll Need

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Pain medication
  • Immunosuppressive medication
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antibiotics

Instructions

  1. Treatment

    • 1

      Use medications that contain the ingredient 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), which inhibits substances that causes inflammation in the immune system. New brands of 5-ASA compounds are effective in treating flare-ups in large doses and as a maintenance treatment in lower doses. The chemical structure is similar to aspirin.

    • 2

      Take a powerful steroid medication to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.

    • 3

      Take immunosuppressive drugs to control immune defenses in the body. Immunoregulators are prescribed with steroids in the beginning, because it takes months for the effects of immunoregulators to be felt.

    • 4

      Use an antibiotic treatment for four to eight weeks to fight bacteria whenever it flares up.

    • 5

      Use anti-TNF medications if other treatments are ineffective in weaning steroids from the body.

    • 6

      Use experimental treatments such as beneficial bacteria medication as a replacement for toxic bacteria caused by antibiotics.

    • 7

      Use alternative approaches such as mind-body treatments, including biofeedback, hypnotherapy, guided imagery, relaxation techniques, sound/music therapy and prayer. Use a postural therapy and an exercise regimen, as well as tai chi, which offers low-intensity exercise, when there is no alternative.

    • 8

      Use other alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and acupressure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Naturopathic and homeopathic herbal treatments are also available but not recommended. There is no research data available to support the effectiveness of the alternative therapies in reversing cellular changes. Do not use mind-body therapy exclusively or as a substitute for conventional medical treatments.
  • Steroids are associated with side effects such as acne, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, psychosis, severe depression, cataracts and glaucoma. Do not use alcohol while taking antibiotics.
  • Many of the medications are by prescription only, so prior consultation with a physician is necessary.
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