How to control your symptoms

Which of the following would be the best assist to control the symptoms of Crohn's Disease?
1
Aromatherapy - 10.0%
1
Massage Therapy - 10.0%
0
Using natural air cleansers and cleaners (plants, fruit mixtures) - 0.0%
6
None - 60.0%
2
Why not do all its better than nothing - 20.0%

 
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Jermaine
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/22/2010 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,

First I would like to say that I do not have Crohn's but my best friend does. School is in a few weeks and Im trying to do tons research on Crohn's and methods used to calm the symptoms. We plan to be suitemates this fall (two different rooms, sharing bathroom) and I want to make sure since we'll be in one another's room alot that they are as comfortable and relaxing as possible. In the beginning of my research I asked my Mike (my bf) things that he finds relaxing (I also had to familiarize myself with Crohn's Disease in various places which led me here). I separated the list into visuals, smells, and other. Next I began to think of brings plants into our rooms to help cleanse the air of dust, humidity, and other contaminates. Im still in the process of researching exactly what plants to use. I also plan to invest in a humidifier. My next investment will be water fountains to further compliment the visuals and other effects of the plants. And finallly I am studying aromatherapy and in the process of seeking answers on how to create natural air cleaners instead of commercial cleans which are filled with toxic chemicals that can complicate Michaels symptoms. So all in all I am basically trying to create an environment that is clean, natural, relaxing and appealing to Mike so that he will be one step closer to being healthier than if I did nothing at all. Lastly Im just looking in to massage therapy.Since I do not have Crohn's I wanted to seek help from other victims and what they did to control their symptoms so I can help my friend the best way i can. My questions to you guys are:

1.) Am I on the right track?

2.)What indoor plants would be best for the purposes I mentioned above?

3.) Have you had any experiences with aroma therapy? What essential oils have you found to help with your Crohn's?

PS: I should have mentioned that this is our second year rooming together so I have a feel for how Mike is. Also Im doing all this not to heal him per say but really lower his stress levels, which I know can play a major role in this.
Thank you All
:-)

Post Edited (Jermaine) : 8/24/2010 7:01:35 AM (GMT-6)


mlatida
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 8/22/2010 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I find that applications of hot or cold helps that most. I do a cold pack on my stomach and a hot pad on my back. I like my back rubbed, but NO pressure on the belly! Ouch! A warm bath soak with Epsom salt helps too.

As far as aromatherapy goes, scents that relax and comfort work the best. Scent is very personal, but I like mixes of comforting and uplifing scents so I relax as well as feel energized, like lavender and mint, cardamom/cinnamon/thyme, vanilla and citrus. I really like the aromatherapy products from Bath and Body Works, especially their rollerball scents. They are small enough to stow in a purseand apply when I need a moment of relaxation. Whole Foods have really good soothing scents as well.

As far as indoor plants go, we have a little window herb garden with sage, rosemary, and basal. Herbs are great because they add flavor to dishes without adding spice which can cause pain. The herbs also give off a great aroma.
26 years old. Diagnosed with Crohn's disease March 2008. Battled a C. diff infection from Summer 2009-Spring 2010. Have been dealing with a severe flare for the past several weeks.

Djin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 265
   Posted 8/23/2010 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
It sounds as another planet to me.

BUT your concern is welcomed, for sure.

1.) Am I on the right track?
If the track is researching ways to make her more confortable, YES!

2.)What indoor plants would be best for the purposes I mentioned above?
Only ensure that the plants are not in her plate. It may be painfull.

3.) Have you had any experiences with aroma therapy? What essential oils have you found to help with your Crohn's?
No. In my home, there are two oil that we think is essential: Olive and Canola.

On the more seriou note... Jermaine, it would be very nice for any Cronhie to have a roomate like you. Caring and with iniciative! Keep that track.

Usually after many battles, the sheer suggestion of aromatherapy sounds amusing. But if it helps with morale, gogogo!
Male, 35 (lovely family of wife and two daughters)
Diagnosed in nov/94 - Started with Prednisone, followed by Pentasa, entocort, flagyl, Imuran, Cipro, etc.
Blockage (popcorn!!) - First Surgery 2001 (no ressection)
Severe bleedind - 2003 - Stopped by 60mg of Prednisone
Stricture leading to a ressection in Dec/2008 - Second Surgery
Now on Remicade + 100 75mg Imuran + Iron (doc said i'm in remission, but I'm not sure at all)
 

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/23/2010 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Honestly the things you mentioned may be nice, but they aren't going to stop diarrhea, cramps, and the joint pains we generally suffer with. My husband massages some part of my body every night. That helps to relax me a little to help me fall asleep. I would think that at my bad times, aromatherapy may make me throw up. If nauseous, smells generally make it worse. As for plants, they don't do much for me.

Now I will agree with one of the posters above, heat on my stomach is very comforting, when I am feeling bad.

I honestly think if you want to help your friend, it would be to just ask if there is something you can do to help your friend feel better. Maybe making them some soup or some other comfort food when they are feeling bad. But to suggest some of the things you mentioned, at least for me, would really not help much. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

ZenaWP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 8/23/2010 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Stress definitely plays a role in our disease, but I've never found plants, aromatherapy, etc. to help me any.  I did have a little desktop fountain at work during a particularly stressful time to try to remind me to relax and breathe, but I don't know that it did any good...still ended up sick and had to reduce my hours.  It's great that you are doing whatever you can to help your roommate, but unless he is really into the whole zen thing, I don't know how much plants and aromatherapy will help.  It seems to me that it would be more helpful to research what kinds of food he should avoid and find places on/around campus that have better alternatives than fast food or typical college food.    

Crohn's Disease with Arthritis, Non-Erosive Reflux Disease, Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Depression/Anxiety 

grayeyedblonde
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 8/23/2010 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
WOW! I want to room with you! It sounds like you are trying to recreate a spa type atmosphere. I honestly have never went through that much trouble just because I would be the one who would have to maintain all this and I just don't have the energy. Any types of plants are good to clean the air. They absorb CO2 and release O2 into the air. Just make sure to keep them dusted. The water fountains are relaxing, but after a while, get on my nerves.

Aromatherapy can be tricky. Yes, certain scents can help you relax, such as lavender, but I agree with someone else who said that if you are nauseas or just not feeling well, having a scent in the air could make it worse and sometimes give me headaches. keep it light and subtle.

As for massage therapy, also another very individual thing. When having aches and pains, sometimes being massaged helps. Other times, it hurts so bad, I don't want to be touched. As someone mentioned above, heat can help alot. I was in a motorcycle accident a couple of years ago which threw me into a flare. I was going through massage therapy for about 6 months with them massaging my neck, shoulders, and lower back. When they massaged my lower back, it always seem to stimulate my bowels and I would have to get up and run to the bathroom. The also had this huge heating pad that would cover my whole back which I loved! They would put that on, cover me with a blanket and just leave me for 20 minutes. I always ended up going to sleep and they would have to wake me up when it was over.

You sound like a very concerned friend. My only caution to you is to find out what your BF likes and will help him relax. Alot of us don't like to be fussed over when we are not feeling well. Just want to be left alone. Please be sensitive to that also. If he gets snappy, don't take it personally, just leave him alone for a little while. When you are hurting, not feeling well, nauseas, the last thing some of us want is someone fussing over us. Be available if he needs anything and listen to what HE wants from you.
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 13. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. 2 fistula's, perianal and perivaginal.

Humira, probiotic, a multivitamin, Glucosamine, D3, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil. I also take Tramadol 50 mg and Klonopin (for anxiety) as needed.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Jermaine
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/23/2010 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much guys keep the replies coming this information is really useful. I am currently doing research on Crohn's which does includes the type of foods to avoid. I have also spoken with Mike about what foods bother him so I can have a better feel of what foods NOT to bring to him. And also as I mentioned in my first post before any of my research with aromatherapy plants etc, I did make a list of things out of an interview I had with Mike about what things tend to relax him.

I separated the list into categories: Visuals, Smells, and other.I do understand that the things Ive mentioned above will not work for everyone but Im still willing to try to see if it'll work for Michael. In time I will be talking to aromatherapist to help me better understand what Im doin so I dont do more harm than good. However I did find that when choosing essential oils it should not be just be determined by the scent but mainly buy the frequency of the oil, which I find very intersting

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 8/23/2010 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a little confused. Is this a girl or guy you're going to be living with? Is your BF the person you're going to be living with?

I, like some of the people who have responded, think your intentions are good, but I don't know that any of the things you mentioned would help me.

Here are things I would like from friends:
Someone asking how I'm feeling. Sometimes being sick all the time, people accept that as part of who you are, and they forget that life is a struggle sometimes. It seems that after a while, people forget, or don't think to ask how I'm doing. It's a little thing, but when someone calls me and asks how things are going, it means a lot. Also just having someone to vent to is wonderful.

Someone stopping and getting Gatorade or comfort food (mashed potatoes, soup, etc.) and bringing it to me when I don't feel like going out. Maybe you could even offer or go grocery shopping together in case he has to run to the bathroom.

Someone staying in and watching a movie or tv with me, just so I don't feel alone when everyone feels like going out. I have days when I just don't feel like facing the world and worrying about finding a bathroom. It would be nice to have someone offer just to spend time at home with me.

I think the things we would want are things anyone would want..acceptance, love, caring, etc. Aside from that, a lot of what helps us is individual. I am a very independant person. Even being in the hospital, I don't expect visitors. Sometimes I just want to be left alone. If I do have visitors, it's the little things that mean a lot to me. I had friends come visit me and bring me juice and gatorade, since you're very limited in what you can get when in a hospital. That meant so much, even though it was a cheap and quick thing for them.

Maybe you should encourage him to visit the site and learn himself what might help him. Knowing you're not the only one going through something like crohn's helps so much, and having answers to questions you have (even after having this disease for years) is super helpful.

Also, maybe you could just ask point blank what he needs/wants from you. Since we're all different, maybe there are little things that would make a big difference.

He sounds like he has a wonderful person to room with. I wish everyone cared so much about the people they're around a lot!
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!

heatmiser
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 8/23/2010 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Since you'll be sharing a bathroom, understand that your roomie may be in there a lot, with little warning of needing it. We tend to panic when we don't have access to a bathroom. The less you are in there, the better. This disease makes a lot of us feel embarrassed and anxious so no teasing. Know that even good days for us can still not be what the rest of the world considers normal. Stress and lack of sleep seem to be my biggest enemies. If I'm flaring and have the opportunity to get extra rest, that's what I'll do. Having someone to run to the store for clear liquids or whatever we need is a big help. Keep the toilet paper stocked (I know, no one likes to change the roll...) Air freshener in the bathroom...oh, and I couldn't live without flushable wipes.

I've not had any experience with the things you mentioned. But a pleasant, low stress environment sounds like a great idea. I find even colors in the room to be helpful (my favorites are warm colors-not normally thought of as relaxing, but it works for me.)

It sounds like Mike is lucky to have you as a friend. I hope you both have a great school year and make lots of good memories.
Dxd CD in 2003. Scope Aug/09 shows UC.
Meds: Colazal, darvocet, prednisone-currently tapering

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/24/2010 12:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't think any of it will help, but if my insurance company will pay for it I'll definitely do massage therapy!
Cimzia, Asacol

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/24/2010 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Jermaine, I really think you mean well, but I am sorry essential oils are going to do CRAP for us. I am sorry to be so blunt, but come on, this is an inflammatory bowel disease. Smelling something is not going to help your friend. What is going to help are things like Becky mentioned above. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

mlatida
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 8/24/2010 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
What is helpful in the bathroom is: keeping lots of comfy toilet paper stocked, air freshening sprays, and maybe a noise machine (the ones that are to aid in sleep). I always get super embarrassed when going to the bathroom when people are over or at people's houses where the bathroom is near where we are hanging out because of the smells and noises. I love those moist wipes too.

Medications are the only real help with this disease. Stress and diet also play important components. There's a quote "If you can't change the wind, change the sails." It means, control what you can control. Keeping low stress levels and having a Crohn's-friendly diet will help. Right now I'm on a Crohn's flare diet which includes rice and rice products, juices/purees, soy milk, soups, low dairy/fiber, no spicy foods, no fruits or veggies (except juiced/pureed), and fish and eggs for protein. Finding a diet that worked for me was the most frustrating part because it's so personal and how it's prepared and with what matter. Just do a lot of internet reading. There is a lot of crap out there, but I'm trying to use all the seemingly good advice for me.

The best thing that my boyfriend does for me is give me a hug and tells me how much he loves me despite my disease. I get so worried that he isn't happy in the relationship when I'm sick, and he has to take care of me and see me in my far-from-sexy states.
26 years old. Diagnosed with Crohn's disease March 2008. Battled a C. diff infection from Summer 2009-Spring 2010. Have been dealing with a severe flare for the past several weeks.

dunny2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 8/24/2010 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Mmmmm!!!
Vicky

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and lupus.
B12 Shots bi-weekly

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts...

Jermaine
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/24/2010 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners said...
Jermaine, I really think you mean well, but I am sorry essential oils are going to do CRAP for us. I am sorry to be so blunt, but come on, this is an inflammatory bowel disease. Smelling something is not going to help your friend. What is going to help are things like Becky mentioned above. JMHO


From my research and from asking different Crohn's patients I found that it varies on the individual. Aromatherapy isnt about smelling different oils and such but setting your body at a certain mood and frequency. Im not really looking to heal him but simply find ways to lower his stress levels which I know is a factor in the intensity of the symptoms, especially in a college environment. I am also doing research on food as well.

sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 8/24/2010 5:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a heatpad on the belly type of girl. I enjoy certain scents and do find them comforting. Of course they don't change my symptoms or pain level, but I enjoy them nonethelesss. monkiray/Becky had some *great* points. Since many of us are sick all the time, many people forget to ask how we feel. It is a simple way to show concern. My closest friends remember. The friends who never, ever ask how I feel are people that I've moved away from and dropped out of my life in the past couple of years. They're better as acquaintances...

So you are on the right track by caring. Just the fact that you care will be a good thing for your friendship/relationship. None of this will help his symptoms, but it will better your friendship and show you care, which is really, really important for us Crohnies.
1 fistula with two tracts, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia. Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

jesse's_girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 8/24/2010 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
One thing that I would find helpful would be if you both are planning an outing (somewhere other then the normal haunts) if you can get the info....where the bathrooms are located. Sometimes i can't wait once I have been in the car for awhile, that is one of my most stress-full situations. If it is going to be a longer trip, plan for extra travel time...just in case!

My BF knows exactly the foods that I can eat even if I am really not feeling well and it is SO nice to know that she cares enough to go and get it for me with out me having to ask her..(i hate asking for help).
I agree about the wet wipes!
Some times even very subtle smells move my nausea from annoying to horrible.
Saltine crackers are a must at ALL times. I keep little packets every where, car, purse, work, home (bedroom).

Good luck! You are going to such great lengths to understand, be supportive and to also be part of his solution to an easier path. I commend you!
Diagnosed Endometriosis 1998
Crohns 2008?
Drugs:B-12 inj

dunny2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 8/24/2010 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Mmmmmm!!!!!
Vicky

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and lupus.
B12 Shots bi-weekly

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts...
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