Crohn’s Disease Flare-Ups: An Emergency Guide

Anyone who has Crohn’s disease will know that a flare-up can often come out of the blue. It can occur anywhere along the GI tract from the mouth to the anus and causes additional symptoms like joint pain and chronic fatigue. Trying to limit the severity and length of a flare-up is imperative, as well as trying to find a way to prevent them from happening in the first place.

MORE: Can cannabis help with your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms?

Causes of Flare-Ups
According to, some of the causes of Crohn’s disease reactivation could be smoking, stress, other illnesses, nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs, changes in Crohn’s medication, and antibiotics. Some patients find that certain foods trigger their Crohn’s disease, particularly gluten and dairy.

Prevention of Flare-Ups
To try and prevent future flare-ups, ensure you take your medications as directed by your healthcare team, eat well and exercise, try to avoid stress as much as possible, stay fit and healthy, get plenty of quality sleep, and quit smoking. You may need to experiment with an elimination diet to find out exactly which foods cause you problems. You may need to take supplements or a multivitamin if you are deficient in any areas.

Getting Through the Flare-Ups
Along with your prescribed medications, there are ways that you can help speed up your recovery and ease the symptoms of your Crohn’s flare-up. The following products may be of use and are handy to carry around with you in case of flares.

  • medicated mouthwash
  • flushable or disposable wet wipes
  • protective barrier ointment
  • anti-diarrhea tablets (if approved by your doctor)
  • Tylenol (if approved by your doctor)
  • Ointments to calm anal itching

To help you further, take time off to fully rest and recuperate. You may also want to try sitz baths to help ease any anal discomfort, moist heat and physical therapy (if you suffer from aching joints and muscles).

MORE: Ten interesting facts and stats about Crohn’s disease. 

IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

One comment

  1. Keith says:

    A strange brief article. These may be helpful in some circumstances? What to eat and not eat seems way more relevant to getting through a flare.. when to see a doc, etc. Like what does mouthwash do? Anal itching is not really that common, not a flare thing. Maybe if you have chronic flaring though you might have surface symptoms. What is barrier ointment?

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