Crohn disease - children - discharge
Your child was treated in the hospital for Crohn disease. This article tells you how to take care of your child at home afterward.
Inflammatory bowel disease in children - Crohn disease; IBD in children - Crohn disease; Regional enteritis - children; Ileitis - children; Granulomatous ileocolitis - children; Colitis in children; CD - children
When You're in the Hospital
Your child was in the hospital because of Crohn disease. This is an inflammation of the surface and deep layers of the small intestine, large intestine, or both.
The disease may be mild or severe. Your child may have had exams, lab tests, and x-rays. The health care provider may have examined the inside of your child's rectum and colon using a flexible tube (colonoscopy). A tissue sample (biopsy) may have been taken.
Your child may have been asked not to eat or drink anything and have been fed only through an IV (intravenous line). She may have received special nutrients through a feeding tube.
Your child may have started taking medicines to treat Crohn disease.
Your child also may have needed one of these types of surgery:
What to Expect at Home
After a flare-up of Crohn disease, your child may be more tired and have less energy than before. This should get better. Ask your child's provider about any side effects from any new medicines. You should see your child's provider regularly. Your child also may need frequent blood tests, especially if they are on new medicines.
If your child went home with a feeding tube, you will need to learn how to use and clean the tube and the area where the tube enters your child's body. If your child is old enough, you can help him learn about the disease and how to care for themselves as well.
Your Child's Diet
When your child first goes home, they may only be able to drink liquids. Or, they may need to eat different foods from what they normally eat. Ask the provider when your child can start eating their regular diet.
You should give your child:
Certain foods and drinks can make your child's symptoms worse. These foods may cause problems for them all the time or only during a flare-up.
Try to avoid the following foods that can make your child's symptoms worse:
Ask your child's provider about extra vitamins and minerals your child may need:
Talk with a dietitian to make sure your child is getting proper nutrition. Be sure to do this if your child has lost weight or their diet becomes very limited.
Your child may be worried about having a bowel accident, embarrassed, or even sad or depressed about having this condition. Your child may even find it difficult to participate in activities at school. You can support your child and help him understand how to live with the disease.
These tips can help you manage your child's Crohn disease:
You may want to join a support group to help you and your child manage the disease. Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is one of such groups. CCFA offers a list of resources, a database of doctors who specialize in treating Crohn disease, information about local support groups, and a website for teens -- www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org.
Your child's provider may give your child medicine to help relieve symptoms. The provider may give one or more of the following medicines based on the severity of your child's Crohn disease and how your child responds to treatment:
There are many types of drugs that can help prevent or treat attacks of your Crohn disease. Some may have more serious side effects. You will likely be prescribed one of these medicines once you recover from your surgery.
You can also do the following to help your child:
When to Call the Doctor
Medicines that suppress the immune system have a risk for complications. If your child is taking these medicines, the provider may want to see your child every 3 months to check for any possible problems.
You should call the provider if your child has:
Burns RC. Inflammatory bowel disease. In: Holcomb GW, Murphy JP, Ostlie DJ, eds. Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 41.
Grossman AB, Baldassano RN. Inflammatory bowel disease. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 336.
Nguyen GC, Loftus EV Jr, Hirano I, et al. American Gastroenterological Association Institute guideline on the management of crohn's disease after surgical resection. Gastroenterology. 2017;152(1):271-275. PMID: 27840074 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27840074.
Sands BE, Seigel CA. Crohn's disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 115.
Review Date: 6/22/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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