Some people who feel a flare-up coming on seek medical attention immediately, while others choose to "lay low" for a few days and try to "ride it out," only speaking to the doctor if they can't shake the symptoms after a couple of weeks. Early medical intervention will often, though not always, result in more effective, more efficient treatment.
Flare-ups are distressing. They change all of the normal rhythms of life, often necessitating days off from work or school and changes in social or family plans. Severe flare-ups can cause nutritional deficiency or dehydration from diarrhea, and hospitalization may be required to get the condition under control.
Hospitalization is by far the most expensive treatment for flare-ups. It also puts an individual at risk of contracting a hospital-based illness such as staphylococcosis (commonly known as staph infection). The use of medications that suppress the immune system, as many medications used to treat Crohn's disease do, increases that risk. Whenever possible, doctors prefer to treat flare-ups on an outpatient or at-home basis.