Frequently Asked Questions

Please note, we cannot answer individual queries about particular cases. Please consult your own GP or specialist.

Can you recommend a specialist who treats IBD?

It is not possible to recommend individual specialists as we cannot keep abreast of frequent staff changes. It is best to take the advice of your General Practioner who should be well aware of local specialists, their strengths, interests and abilities.

What should I do if I am not satisfied with the treatment I have received for my Crohn's or Colitis?

It is not possible, nor ethical for us to offer advice on treatment to patients whose cases are not known to us in detail and where we cannot perform examinations and further investigations. You should in the first instance tell your present specialist of your concerns and ask him/her whether any different treatment is available. If you are still dissatisfied you should ask your GP to refer you for a second opinion from a different specialist.

How can Crohn's disease be cured?

Presently no complete cure is available.

How do you conclude when a patient had Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis?

Please click here to read about investigations which may help your physician to make a diagnosis. Some cases of inflammation in the large bowel show features of both crohn's disease (CD) and Ulcerative colitis (UC) and it may not always be possible to separate them. Doctors sometimes refer to these cases as 'Indeterminate Colitis' and they are usually treated in the same way as UC.

My doctor says diet has no role to play in Crohn's disease

There are now numerous papers in prestigious medical journals such as the Lancet, confirming the value of diet in CD, and many hundreds of patients who have benefitted. Elemental diet is the most effective treatment available for genuine CD as over 80% of cases who complete the course will go into remission.

I have heard of a FODMAPS diet - is this good for Crohn's disease?

FODMAPs stands for fructose, oligosaccharides disaccharides monosaccharides and polyols. An Australian doctor has suggested that foods containing these substances may be important in causing IBS because they may be poorly absorbed.  However, what is really important is not the specific food, but the abnormal fermentation activity of the intestinal bacteria, which may act on a varity of different foods - e.g. gluten, which is not a FODMAP food, but is the commonest food -stuff to cause problems. There is no reliable evidence of benefit of IBD from a diet excluding FODMAPs and hence no need to worry about them.

I live in the UK, is there someone I can talk to about my Crohn's disease?

Crohn's & Colitis UK (NACC) is designed to help patients and their families. Counsellors are often available. Telephone 0845 130 2233 or 0845 130 3344 for information or visit their website.

I live in the USA, is there someone I can talk to about my Crohn's?

The Crohn's and Colitis foundation of America (CCFA) has it's headquarter at:
386 Park Avenue South, Floor 17
New York, NY 10016-8804
Email:info@ccfa.org
Website:www.ccfa.org

I think I may have Crohn's disease. How do I find out?

You should go to your doctor and ask him directly whether you could have CD and if you should be sent to have the relevant investigations or to see a specialist in IBD. It is important for people with chronic health problems to have a doctor with whom they are comfortable discussing their problems and fears.

Is Crohn's disease a form of cancer?

No, CD is definitely not a form of cancer.

Are there any known herbal remedies taken for Crohn's disease?

There are curently no herbal remedies for CD that have been scientifically tested and approved.

I have Crohn's disease, am I still able to drink alcohol?

Alcohol is only contra-indicated in IBD in patients with CD who are intolerant of yeast - and even they can often drink spirits without difficulty. Alcohol intake should be limited to 28 units / week for males and 21 units / week for females. Alcohol should not be taken with certain drugs such as metronidazole. Binge drinking must be avoided.

Does Crohn's disease cause a higher risk of miscarriage in pregnancy?

Generally there is no increased risk of miscarriage. However there is an increased risk of disease relapse in the 1st and 2nd trimester and following delivery. If the disease is in remission at conception then the pregnancy should progress relatively trouble free.

A work collegue has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Could I catch it?

No, CD is not contagious.

How can I contact crohns.org.uk?

You may contact crohns.org.uk by sending an e-mail.

If you have a particular question, that you would like to know the answer to, please email us.