Nov 28, 2013 - Research

What Patients Say Works for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's Infographic

By Alex Carmichael, Co-Founder of CureTogether

For Crohn’s Disease, medical interventions seem to be surprisingly effective.

This is in contrast to some of our other patient-reported treatment infographics, in which lifestyle changes are often deemed more effective than drugs or traditional medicine.

Self Report

CureTogether – a free resource owned by 23andMe that allows people to share information about their health and treatments – surveyed 275 people who self-identify as having Crohn’s Disease. They reported that interventions such as Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN), steroids, cannabis, and dietary changes helped them feel better.

Crohn’s Disease is a kind of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract and can involve intense abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.


Participants in the study said they found that prescription medications like Humira and Remicade, surgery, stress reduction, and diets that avoid fiber and wheat were among the most effective treatments. The survey also found that some common treatments such as the drug Pentassa and a high-fiber diet actually made the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease worse.

Most Effective Rated Treatments for Patients with Crohn’s Disease
1. Low-Dose Naltrexone
2. Surgery
3. Steroids
4. Cannabis
5. Specific Carbohydrate Diet
6. Remicade
7. Humira
8. Gluten-free diet
9. Paleo diet
10. Stress reduction

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation America estimates that over 700,000 Americans live with Crohn’s Disease, with genetics and environment both playing a part in the frequency of this disease. The condition can be extremely painful and is not incredibly well understood, and finding accurate recommendations on treatments that work well can be challenging, so

Top Ten Rated Treatments

CureTogether asked people who experience Crohn’s Disease to rate the effectiveness of 42 different patient-reported treatments.

Where did this data come from? This is the result of a four-year CureTogether study on Crohn’s Disease, in which 275 people shared information about their symptoms and what treatments worked best for them. We’d like to thank those who participated. And just as they shared their experience with treatments, we’re freely and openly sharing the results of the Crohn’s Disease study.

This is part of a regular series of CureTogether research findings. CureTogether’s research findings are different than those made by 23andMe, which look at genetic associations with illness, traits and drug response. But as we continue our work with the CureTogether community, 23andMe hopes to incorporate more of this kind of self-reported information into our own research. CureTogether presents its findings just as they are – patient-reported data – to stimulate discussion and generate new insights for further research.

Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in Crohn’s Disease. Thank you!

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