What Are the Treatment Options for Bowel Inflammation?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for bowel inflammation include anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, immune suppressants, certain supplements and diet changes, according to Mayo Clinic. Surgery may be helpful if medications and lifestyle changes fail to counter the problem. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the main forms of bowel inflammation.

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Corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone and prednisone, aid in treating persistent Crohn's disease and medium-to-severe cases of ulcerative diseases; however, the drugs can cause insomnia, night sweats, hyperactivity and diabetes, explains Mayo Clinic. Aminosalicylates, such as sulfasalazine, help relieve Crohn's disease but often lead to headache and certain digestive problems.

Antibiotics aid in counteracting ulcerative colitis that occurs along with fever, explains Mayo Clinic. Unconfirmed studies indicate that antibiotics may counter abscesses, fistulas and drainage in patients with Crohn's disease. Immunosuppressants, such as cyclosporine and natalizuma, inhibit the activity of chemicals that trigger inflammation. Calcium supplements together with vitamin D may help treat osteoporosis that results from treatment of Crohn's disease. Chronic intestinal bleeding may cause anemia, so taking iron supplements may help reverse the problem.

Avoiding spicy foods, high-fat foods, high-fiber foods, caffeine and alcohol may aid in preventing and treating bowel inflammation, according to Mayo Clinic. Managing stress, avoiding smoking, drinking enough water and eating several small meals instead of a few larger ones may be helpful as well. Surgery for Crohn's disease may not offer long-term relief, so the patient should take prescription medications after the operation to prevent recurrence.

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