Treating Crohn’s disease is largely about finding a way to relieve your symptoms when they appear. One of the first medications you will usually be offered for Crohns disease treatment when your symptoms flare up are corticosteroids.
How Corticosteroids Help
Corticosteroids are prescribed for a wide range of conditions that cause inflammation, just like the inflammation in your digestive system that is causing your discomfort. The corticosteroid can reduce this inflammation, which should help to relieve your symptoms. You may be given corticosteroid Crohns disease treatment in several forms. Common options are injections of hydrocortisone and prednisolone tablets. If your symptoms don’t improve on this medication, you may have to move on to other treatment options such as immunosuppressants or surgery.
Risks of Corticosteroid Treatment
Corticosteroids can often help to relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but these are steroid medications so they can also produce side effects in some people. You many notice that you gain weight when you are taking corticosteroids as part of your Crohns disease treatment. Other possible side effects can be less easy to spot. Taking steroids can make it harder for your body to deal with infections and over time it can also lead to osteoporosis or weakening of your bones. In order to reduce the risk of these kinds of side effects, the doctor will gradually reduce your dosage as your condition improves.
When you are taking corticosteroids for short periods, as prescribed by your doctor, the risk of side effects is very low. In some cases, corticosteroids may not be a suitable option for your treatment. Your doctor may recommend a milder steroid or a different kind of medication instead. If you are very young, you may begin treatment with a special liquid diet rather than with medication, as taking corticosteroids can be a problem if you are still growing. However, for most people, corticosteroids will be the first line of treatment for Crohn’s disease.