What Does It Mean to Transition Health Care? As teens with Crohn's disease become adults, the health care provider who oversees their care will switch from a pediatric gastroenterologist to an adult provider. Planning for this transition can help teens take on more responsibility for managing their inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). When Should Teens With Crohn's Disease Transition Health Care? It depends on the person, but most teens with Crohn's disease should transition to an adult health care provider when they're between 18 and 21 years old. Many young adults are going to college or moving away from home at this age. It's important for teens to learn how to take care of themselves and make independent decisions about their health. How Can Teens With Crohn's Prepare to Transition Health Care? Starting as early as 12 years old, teens with Crohn's disease can start to take charge of their health. Parents can supervise, then give more responsibilities as their child gets older. To help prepare for this transition, teens should know: about Crohn's disease when to get care the names of all medicines, their dosages and when to take them, common side effects, and interactions with other medicines if they have allergies to food or medicine the answers to most questions about their health and medical history how to: schedule appointments order refills contact the care team manage medical tasks outside of home the consequences of not following the treatment plan about insurance coverage and to always carry their insurance information with them What Should Teens Do Before Going to College or Living on Their Own? Before moving away from home, teens with Crohn's disease should: Have copies of their medical records, including medicines, allergies, immunizations, testing, and the gastroenterologist's name and phone number. Find a gastroenterologist close to where they're living and coordinate with the doctor at home. Teens going to college should: Contact student health services to coordinate care with their gastroenterologist. Contact the school's Office of Disability Services and talk to professors about accommodations and academic plans in case of illness. Teens who start a job should: Tell their employer how Crohn's disease might affect work. How Can We Find a Doctor Who Specializes in Crohn's Disease? To find a doctor who specializes in caring for people with Crohn's disease: Ask your current health care provider for list of gastroenterologists. Contact student health services at the college for referral to local gastroenterologists. Go to http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org or contact your local chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. Back to Articles Related Articles Crohn's Disease Crohn's disease is a chronic condition that causes parts of the bowel to get red and swollen. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, prevent other problems, and avoid flare-ups. Read More Nutrition Therapy and Crohn's Disease Nutrition therapy is an alternative to medicines that doctors use to ease the symptoms of Crohn's disease. It can help improve nutrition and growth, ease inflammation, and heal the gastrointestinal tract. Read More Dealing With a Health Condition If you suffer from a chronic illness, you know it can be anything but fun. But you can become better informed and more involved in your care. Here are tips to help you deal. Read More Digestive System Most people think digestion begins when you first put food in your mouth. But the digestive process actually starts even before the food hits your taste buds. Read More Digestive System The digestive process starts even before the first bite of food. Find out more about the digestive system and how our bodies break down and absorb the food we eat. Read More Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two chronic diseases that cause intestinal inflammation: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Although they have features in common, there are some important differences. Read More Inflammatory Bowel Disease It's normal to get a stomachache once in a while, but some kids have something more serious called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Find out more about it. Read More Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease is an ongoing illness caused by an inflammation of the intestines. There are two kinds of IBD: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Read More Celiac Disease People with celiac disease can't eat gluten, which is found in many everyday foods, such as bread. Find out more by reading this article for kids. Read More Ulcerative Colitis Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that happens only in the colon. It causes the inner lining of the colon to get red and swollen with sores called ulcers. Read More Crohn's Disease Crohn's disease is a condition that causes parts of the intestine (bowel) to get red and swollen. It can be challenging to deal with, but many teens find that they're able to feel well and have few symptoms for long periods of time. Read More Inflammatory Bowel Disease Factsheet (for Schools) What teachers should know about inflammatory bowel disease, and what teachers can do to help students with IBD succeed in school. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.