What Should You Know About Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a condition that irritates the large intestine. Symptoms include cramping, bloody diarrhea, and a sense of urgency. Some of these symptoms may be extreme enough to awaken someone that’s sleeping.
Having UC can interfere with several daily functions. It can be challenging to go to work and school, maintain relationships, and maintain a good body image making social situations awkward. With a little planning ahead, however, those with UC can maintain a normal social life.
Managing Stress Is Important
Flareups with UC are painful. You need to do all you can to prevent them. Flares are triggered by stress. Make sure you are doing everything you can to avoid stress, such as getting 7 or more hours of sleep a night.
Stopping the Associated Stigma
Sometimes, having UC can make you feel isolated. Taking the initiative to talk about UC, though, can help to fight the stigma associated with it. Educate those around you so you can control the normality of your life.
Diet does not cause UC, nor does it cure it. However, certain foods can help you to manage the symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Keeping a journal will allow you to recognize which foods trigger you, so they can be avoided when eating out in public.
Generally, problem foods to those with UC include:
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Greasy foods
- Carbonated drinks
Do Not Take on Heavy Tasks
Sometimes, having a job or school schedule can be overwhelming. Once diagnosed, you need to rearrange your schedule, and not take on too many heavy tasks. Too many tasks can have negative impacts on both mental and physical health, leading to a flare-up.
Maintain Strong Relationships
It is very important to maintain a strong support system while navigating UC. Surround yourself with family and friends who help you to feel positive about your physical and emotional well-being.
If Possible, Reduce or Change Working Hours
In some studies, people who reduced their work hours were more efficient at their jobs. Rearranging working patterns, taking on less demanding roles, and waking up earlier to reduce rushing all showed positive results in reducing flareups. It is worth trying if there will not be a significant change to household finances.
Know the Layout of Your Venture
Being out and about with UC can be intimidating. Learning the layout of your destination can reduce scariness. Check the menus of restaurants you may be visiting. Arrive early to navigate the bathrooms and exits. Let your friends know if you start to feel ill, you will have to leave.
Seek Out Resources
There are resources for those with UC that include support groups, volunteers to help with chores, and in some cases financial resources. A search engine should be used to identify resources.
Take All Medications on Time
For many, medication is very effective, and they can live a normal life as compared to anyone else.
Alternate Methods for Adaptation
Some alternate therapies and tasks can help to ease the tension that comes with UC and being social. They include probiotics, exercise, yoga, and acupuncture.
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