Crohn's disease is a life-long inflammatory disease that affects the intestines, although it can affect any part of the digestive tract. The inflammation associated with Crohn's can extend into the lining where the disease has been detected. The swelling and inflammation can cause the individual abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.
There is no cure for this disease, but it can be treated with medication.
Unfortunately, even with medication, individuals can still experience random flare ups. These flare ups can happen at any time. The flare ups are painful, unpleasant, and makes you feel like you are dying. While there are over-the-counter medications to help ease the symptoms of diarrhea, pain, and fever, there are other things that sufferers can do to make things more comfortable as the flare up passes.
As a fellow Crohn's patient (I have the disease in my intestines and stomach lining), I've found that a heating pad does help with easing the pain. I usually keep the heating pad on for no more than 15 mins at a time.
When you experience diarrhea during a flare up, you lose fluids. It is important to drink water to keep yourself hydrated.
During a flare, it is important to keep your diet as bland as possible. I usually put myself on the BRAT diet. This means no coffee, no spicy food, no acidic food, nothing. My meal of choice ends up being broth and brown rice.
I practically live on tea when I'm dealing with a flare up. Of course, you have to be careful with what tea you drink during a flare up. Stay away from spicy teas. I recommend Sleepytime tea.
It is absolutely important to keep your stress low during flare ups. If you have to unplug from the online world to avoid stress, so be it. Meditation is my go-to for relaxation. It has helped me in all areas of my life, including during flare ups.
Crohn's disease sucks, but it can suck less by making some of the above changes. Of course, it is best to check in with your doctor if your symptoms get worse (my GI doctor is on speed dial LOL!).