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EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

Don't let Crohn's disease stop you from traveling to Israel


Crohn’s Disease in Israel

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affect as many as 1.4 million Americans, most of who are diagnosed before age 30. Crohn’s disease causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue in the gastrointestinal track, causing inflammation. It is a life-long condition which can be treated, but not cured.  Therefore, Crohn’s Disease can significantly affect patients’ quality of life and may have a high financial burden.   Ashkenazi Jews are at significantly higher risk for the disorder and research is being conducted to understand what causes the illness and how it is connected to the Ashkenazi gene.  Managing Crohn’s Disease in Israel can be challenging, especially for students and tourists who do not have access to the full service Israeli health care system.

Crohn’s Disease main symptoms are fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, pain when passing stool, fever, weight loss, diarrhea, possibly eye inflammation, joint pain and swelling, swollen gums and skin ulcers.  

We know that environmental factors can make the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease worse. The factors include:

  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Pollution

Treating Crohn’s should be organized with an interdisciplinary team that should include a physician specialist, nurse, dietician, and perhaps even a psychologist.  Sadly, many medications for Crohn’s disease are no longer available for non-citizens in Israel, due to a shortage.

EMA Care recommends all patients with Crohn’s disease see a dietician to understand what foods to avoid to prevent or control flare ups of the illness.  With this condition, many people cannot absorb certain nutrients, and physicians often recommend high-calorie, high-protein diets and nutritional supplements. 

Avoiding “trigger foods” including alcohol, raw vegetables and fruits, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, oily foods, and whole grains can alleviate symptoms and even prevent flare ups.

A bland, low fiber diet is easier to digest.  Fatty fried foods, and unfortunately many kinds of fruits and vegetables should be avoided.   So a nutritionist really needs to guide people with Crohn’s Disease so they can get adequate nutrients.

When managing Crohn’s Disease in Israel, stay away from falafel, shwarma, fried schnitzel, and chips (French fries).  Sad to say, but during Chanukah, EMA Care recommends to NOT eat sufganiot.  These Israeli doughnuts are deeply fried and can result in severe pain and discomfort in Crohn’s patients.

Crohn’s Disease can go into remission with proper treatment, but stress may cause the inflammation to re-appear.  Traveling, coming to Israel for a gap year, moving to Israel, beginning a new job, getting married, starting school are all stressful situations.  It’s important to eat properly especially when experiencing life’s transitions.

Common medications for Crohn’s Disease are anti-inflammatory drugs sometimes including steroids.  When the first line of treatment does not help, biological may be prescribed.   Many of these medications must be injection or infused.  These are expensive, biological drug which targets the immune system to suppress the cause of the inflammation.  Appropriate medical treatment for Crohn’s Disease can help to alleviate symptoms and putting the illness into remission.

EMA Care has developed a thorough, comprehensive treatment plan for tourists, students, and residents of Israel with Crohn’s Disease.  Through EMA Care case management, patients with the illness can be seen by English speaking, gastroenterologist who specialize in IBD.   There are several options available for foreign (student/ tourist) patients who need infusions.  EMA Care can help arrange delivery of these expensive medications via US insurance companies.  

Don’t let Crohn’s Disease or IBD prevent you from visiting Israel.

EMA Care is here to assure you of a problem free, pain free stay in Israel.

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What Our Clients Say

Skilled and professional

I write to express my hakarat hatov (positive recognition) and my gratitude to the two health professionals from EMA Care that have been from the start professionally involved and continue to be interested in my care and long-term recovery.

After a serious fracture, I was hospitalized in the north, and my insurance company recommended EMA Care services to help me. After a surgeon was pressuring me to sign consent for surgery, I realized that I needed to remain


Sensitive and timely help

I would like to recommend Eliana (EMA care) for her sensitive and timely help for clients who are having difficulty navigating the health care system Israel, specifically for Anglos, whether new olim or those of us who been here for many years.

The obstacles of interfacing with the health care system here is daunting, especially at a time when one is going through an acute or chronic condition that is protracted and complicated. Often one doesn’t know whom to turn to or where to go,


Truly amazing

My son went to Israel for a year requiring infusion every 6-8 weeks. It was very stressful at times to coordinate getting his meds sent to Israel, scheduling appointments, and having to worry about him going on his own. Then a friend told me about EMA Care. EMA Care was truly amazing.

You can speak to an American who understands your concerns and will walk you through the entire process, from dealing with insurance to making appointments, and even getting someone to escort your


Knowledgeable, thorough, and caring

When our son was injured in a car accident during his yeshiva year in Israel, he had to start navigating the medical system on his own. But once we contacted Dr. Eliana Aaron at EMA Care (www.HealthCareIsrael.com), she immediately flew into action. Dr. Aaron accompanied our son in the ER and made sure he and we knew at every step exactly what was done and what needed to be done, especially important for someone who suffered a concussion and


Meticulous in their preparations

During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.

 After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the


Comfortable, calm, and at ease

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!

We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.

My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and


My Father is so Happy

It sounds like my dad has decided to hire you and I'm thrilled.
He actually seems much calmer than he has been in a long time and he is very happy with what the EMA Care staff has done so far.
You provide an amazing service and I feel very fortunate to have you on board.

G.K.  Jerusalem


“Ema Extraordinaire”

“EMA” Care is so fitting a name for Dr. Eliana Aaron’s exceptional gap year concierge health care service. Dr. Aaron is not only an incredible health care professional; she is also an “Ema Extraordinaire” in every sense of the word. My child had a range of medical needs while abroad, some anticipated and others not, and she was there for him (and me) – even in the middle of the night, -- always calm, reassuring, thinking out of the box, getting him to the appropriate medical professionals


Very Helpful

Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
Yasher koach



Delicious and Safe

Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel.  We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious.

All the best,


New Jersey


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