It’s no secret that many people feel stress from time to time. While there’s no proof that stress itself causes ulcerative colitis, stress can be a factor in symptom flare-ups. Here are a few ways that can help you manage your stress levels:
How much of your time is your UC impacting? Find out and make a personal action plan.
Just take a deep breath, listen to your doctors—everything will be okay.
In your everyday life, you may have to deal with some aspect of your condition—whether you’re experiencing UC symptoms or not. But just because UC is chronic doesn’t mean it has to take over your life. There are ways to help you be your own best advocate and get info to family, friends, coworkers—anyone in your life who you think wants or needs to understand the disease.
So, if the moment ever comes up when someone asks about your UC, and you’re open to sharing info with others when necessary, here are a few ways to help you be prepared.
The possibility of a UC flare may keep some people from enjoying an active social life. But there are a few ways to plan ahead that may help you feel more comfortable going out.
Alcohol, smoking, and drugs affect each person with UC differently. But they may pose health risks to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and affect your medications. Remember to ask your doctor for more information.
You may have questions about navigating relationships with UC. You may already know that being honest with your friends and partner is important—and so is your comfort level when talking about your UC. Learning to talk about it can help you feel more understood by others—and help others find better ways to support you when you need it.
Doing some research and planning ahead of time can help make trips go more smoothly. Here are a few tips:
Talk to your healthcare team about your travel plans. They may be able to offer advice and information about any necessary precautions or immunizations.
Take along your healthcare team’s contact information and copies of insurance cards.
Remember to bring enough medication—preferably in its original packaging. And make sure the sizes of liquids can go through security.
Research your destination. Know as much as possible about where you’re going so you know what to expect. Aside from activities, places to stay, and where to eat, you might want to find out about nearby restrooms, when pharmacies are open, and if water is safe to drink.
Use helpful resources that are available—like a Restroom Request Card, which can let you discreetly communicate your condition and gain access to restricted bathrooms—to be prepared in case you have sudden symptoms away from home.
Ulcerative colitis can equally affect men and women, but despite sharing some of the same symptoms, there may be some differences.
Conception: With UC under control, women can become pregnant as normally as other women. But it may be more difficult to conceive a child during an active disease state, and it is not recommended during flare-ups. Always talk to your doctor if you are or plan on becoming pregnant.
Fertility: Depending on what part of the large intestine is affected, women with active inflammation have reduced fertility.
Pregnancy: Women can generally have healthy pregnancies while living with UC—however, if their disease is in an active state, they are more susceptible to complications like miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or developmental defects. Even if your UC is under control, communicate openly with your doctor during pregnancy.
Have a discreet way to ask for access to restricted restrooms if you have symptoms. And get updates, resources, and more sent to your inbox.
*Eligibility restricted to patients diagnosed with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
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