6 Ways To Manage Symptoms And Flares Of Ulcerative Colitis
A flare of ulcerative colitis can be painful and embarrassing not only for you, but for those around you. Once you have one flare, are you going to have more? That anxiety can make you feel even worse and trigger one. Let’s investigate 6 ways to manage symptoms and flares of ulcerative colitis.
What Is Ulcerative Colitis?
This chronic inflammatory bowel disease causes unpredictable diarrhea and pain in the abdomen. Other common symptoms include: urgent and frequent bowel movements, bloody stool, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and weight loss. You may have periods with no symptoms, and then suddenly, the pain and trips to the bathroom return.
Sometimes remission can last for weeks, months, or even years.
Once you receive a confirmed diagnosis by Digestive Health Services, proper treatment can begin which should give you some relief from this condition.
Avoid All NSAIDS
NSAIDS are over-the- counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds. They include Aleve, Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Nuprin. If you have fever or to reduce pain, take Tylenol instead.
Watch What You Eat
Those with UC find that fiber can set off a flare. You can ease symptoms by avoiding fiber to allow the colon to “rest.”
Pay attention to the following:
- Avoid seeds, fresh or dried fruits, raw veggies, whole grain breads, cereal, and tough meat.
- Once you are in remission, Digestive Health Services may have you re-introduce vegetables and fruits back into your diet. Cook any veggies without the skin on.
- Avoid processed foods, fatty foods, and spicy foods.
- Dairy foods can be problematic so avoid milk, yogurt, ice cream and all other dairy products.
- Lastly, since everyone is different, keep a food journal so you will learn what particular foods are a problem for you.
Even mild exercise can help improve anxiety and depression. It also suppresses inflammation in your body. Swimming, walking, biking, and yoga are best.
Eat Smaller Meals
Researchers have found that someone with ulcerative colitis can reduce flares by eating 5 or 6 small meals rather than 3 large ones.
Work On Managing Stress
We know, easy to say.
Stress doesn’t cause flare ups, but it can exacerbate or induce one. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and sleeping at least 7 hours a night can all help you manage stress. Talk with Digestive Health Services for additional tips to reduce stress.
Be Consistent With Treatment Drugs
Take your medications consistently. Don’t miss or skip a dose even when in remission. Don’t try to wean yourself off of a treatment drug as these changes can all lead to flares.
Contact Digestive Health Services at (630) 434-9312 if you have any changes to your flares, or if you think you might have ulcerative colitis.