Daily Life With
The best way to deal with ulcerative colitis is to seek an effective treatment plan. Additionally, it is helpful to maintain a hopeful outlook, healthy lifestyle, and a strong support network—and to strive for leading a full and productive life. Keeping up with the latest information about your condition and making sure you get the best care possible can also help in managing your disease.
Connecting stress and ulcerative colitis
Some people with ulcerative colitis may feel stress—especially when they’re experiencing a flare-up. But this does not suggest that stress is responsible for UC. Here are some tips that may help you manage stress:
Try yoga or
Join a support
Explaining ulcerative colitis
Having a chronic disease means that you may have chronic symptoms—and may have to deal with some aspect of your condition frequently. That’s why it’s beneficial for friends and family members to understand ulcerative colitis and what you’re going through, since it will be helpful to have their support. Similarly, depending on your situation, you might want to be mindful about informing your co-workers, classmates, and supervisors or teachers of what having UC can be like, so they can prepare to be flexible in case you have to stay home. You might also want to be mindful about letting teachers and supervisors know what your rights are as someone with a chronic disease.
Talking to others about your needs up front is a helpful way to manage expectations if your symptoms flare up.
Use these tips to help explain ulcerative colitis—and make advocating for yourself easier:
- Learn about UC. Knowing as much about UC as you can is helpful for you to be able to share the basics of the disease and how it can affect you.
- Know where to get information. Your teacher, co-worker, friend or family member can benefit from having a copy of Ulcerative Colitis 101. You can also direct them to this site to learn about ulcerative colitis.
- Know your rights. There may be means to access reasonable accommodations at school and at work through laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It may be helpful to explore these means about guidelines and eligibility requirements for potential services and accommodations.
Socializing with ulcerative colitis
Here are some tips that may help some people with ulcerative colitis feel more comfortable handling social situations and going out:
- Finding out what bathroom facilities are available and where they are located is a good way to prepare for unexpected symptoms.
- Alcohol, smoking, and drugs affect each person with ulcerative colitis differently. However, they may pose health risks to your intestine and liver and affect your medications. You should ask your doctor for more information.
- You may look for guidance on how to approach relationships when you have ulcerative colitis. Being honest about your disease with your friends and partner is important—and it might be helpful to learn how to be comfortable when talking about your UC. To find more information on dating and relationships, see the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation resources.
Traveling with ulcerative colitis
Researching your destination and planning ahead of time can help make trips go more smoothly. Here are some suggestions:
- Tell your healthcare team about your travel plans. They may be able to offer advice and information about suggested precautions or immunizations.
- Research your destination beforehand to find activities and places to stay that seem comfortable to you. Knowing when pharmacies are open, what kind of food is typically available, and if water is safe to drink is also recommended.
- Bring your healthcare team’s phone numbers and email addresses, as well as copies of insurance cards.
If you have an ostomy bag, make sure you tell TSA personnel before you go through security. Check out the TSA’s page for people with medical conditions, and choose “External Medical Devices” from their drop-down menu.
- Take plenty of medication with you in its original container, if possible, and anything else you may need to manage your UC. Follow TSA recommendations regarding liquids, especially if you have a carry-on bag.
- Try to look for local cuisine that’s similar to what you have when you’re at home. Take non-perishable foods and follow the same rules when dining out as you would when not traveling.