There are different ways to manage UC.
Managing ulcerative colitis (UC) can be tough, but there are different things you can try to see what works for you. Start by talking to your gastroenterologist to work on a treatment plan to help manage your disease. Things like a treatment option and healthy lifestyle practices, can stack up to create an effective treatment plan.
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Feel like your UC is affecting your life?
From frequent trips to the bathroom to missing work, your life can be impacted by ulcerative colitis symptoms. But how much? Our Impact Tool can help you figure it out. You can then share the results with your gastroenterologist.
When UC impacts your life…
There are certain things you can do to have an impact on ulcerative colitis symptoms and interruptions.
Here are some healthy lifestyle practices that could complement your treatment plan:
Having ulcerative colitis can often be tough, but it’s important to do things that you enjoy. Maybe it’s a dinner with loved ones, a great concert, or a trip to the movies. All these things are possible with a little planning. For example, if you’re going out to eat, take a quick look at the menu beforehand so you can make sure you have food options that won’t negatively affect your UC.
Who is around you matters too. Keep in mind these tips:
- Lean on your friends to get support
- Be honest with your friends and family
- Learn to talk about UC so you feel understood and help others find better ways to support you
At work: Making it work
There are simple adjustments you can incorporate into your daily work routine that can help make all the difference. Like bringing the kind of food you need for lunch or managing your stress with breathing exercises and meditation.
If you feel like your ulcerative colitis is impacting your life at work, talk to your doctor to discuss your options.
Exercising has many well-known benefits. But sometimes it can be tough to exercise—especially if you’re experiencing ulcerative colitis symptoms. If this is happening to you, you may find it best to limit exercise or consider low-impact activities like walking. Or you can always limit exercise and pick it back up when you have your symptoms more under control.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms can cause nutrient deficiencies, malnutrition, and weight loss, which makes eating a more balanced diet so important. You’ll want to know which foods and drinks your body can tolerate, and which ones aggravate symptoms, so tracking them is key. Work with your doctor or registered dietitian to find a meal plan that works for you.
When you have an intimate partner, it can be helpful to have open communication with them about your disease and how it may limit your daily function and activities. Also, speaking with a psychologist or counselor can help to cope with intimacy challenges and emotions.
Planning a family
If you’re interested in planning a family or becoming pregnant, it’s important to talk to your doctor about it, especially about how certain medications could affect you. That way, you and your doctor can be on the same page as you work to keep your disease under control and achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Create a support system
When daily stuff like completing a work assignment, going grocery shopping, or even picking up the kids from school is impacted by ulcerative colitis, that’s where support can make a difference. Have friends and/or co-workers who can support you in different areas of your life when you need it most.
There are also great support groups filled with people who can share similar experiences with ulcerative colitis and provide support through understanding.
Of course, even with these healthy lifestyle practices and your current medications, you still may experience ulcerative colitis symptoms. It’s always best to keep your doctor up to date on the symptoms that you’re experiencing and ask about treatment options that may be right for you.
You’re not alone
Sometimes it might feel like you’re the only one in the world dealing with ulcerative colitis. It’s important to talk to your friends and family. Let them know what you’re going through and help them understand the impact the disease has on your life. Another great option is to join a support group and meet others who can relate.
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