Treatments For Inflammatory Bowel Disease
“Fortunately, there are many treatment options,” Cross says. Some of the most common treatment options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication: These prescription medications are one of the first treatments doctors will try when treating IBD. Options can be steroids or non-steroidal, and the medication your doctor chooses will depend on how your digestive system is affected by the disease.
- Changing your diet: For some patients, altering your diet can help control symptoms. This may involve cutting out hard to digest foods like dairy, spicy foods, and alcohol. Your doctor may also recommend a low residue diet, which involves cutting down on high-fiber foods like raw vegetables to reduce the number of bowel movements you have. This can help food move more easily through narrow intestines.
- Immunosuppressants: Because your immune system may be causing the inflammation that damages your organs, doctors may prescribe a medication to suppress your immune system’s response.
- Surgery: There are many different types of surgery for IBD, including removing an area of infection or blockage, inserting a feeding tube, or removing large sections of your colon, depending on how severe the disease is.
Things No One Tells You About Life With Ulcerative Colitis
People who have never experienced ulcerative colitis may think it means getting the occasional bad stomachache or having a fussy gastrointestinal system. But as anyone with ulcerative colitis knows, the effects of this inflammatory bowel diseasein which sections of the large intestine develop inflammation and ulcerscan be severe and disrupt many aspects of your life. After a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, it can be incredibly hard to navigate the reality of your new normal. Knowing the following seven facts about life with ulcerative colitis might help make the whole experience a little bit easier.
How Are Stress And Uc Related
Its no secret that many people feel stress from time to time. While theres 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 doctorseverything will be okay.
RYAN | Real UC Patient
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Money Matters: The Cost Of Living With Ulcerative Colitis
Having UC can carry both obvious and hidden expenses not just copays for medications and doctor’s appointments but also possibly increased food costs as well as lost productivity, which may affect your choice of job and income.
The reality of workplace cultures and expectations may also clash with your needs when it comes to UC, which can make it difficult to thrive in many jobs and limit your potential for income growth. And if your UC lands you in the hospital, you can face the double whammy of hospital bills and lost income from work.
Life With Ulcerative Colitis: 4 Things To Know
The common form of inflammatory bowel disease affects more than half a million Americans. A look at the signs, symptoms and treatment methods.
A disease causing inflammation and sores in the large intestine, ulcerative colitis can seriously disrupt a persons life.
Thats because the main symptoms of ulcerative colitis include cramps, diarrhea and rectal bleeding all of which can be severe. Symptoms can flare periodically, or they can occur nearly constantly.
The main goal I have for my patients is to get control of their disease, control of their intestines and control of their life back, says Peter Higgins, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc., director of the IBD program at Michigan Medicine.
Ulcerative colitis is one of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Its causes arent known, though ties to immune system malfunction or heredity are suspected. Caucasians and those younger than 30 represent the populations most at risk for developing ulcerative colitis.
Higgins explains more about the disease, which affects about 600,000 people in the United States:
What is ulcerative colitis?
Higgins: Ulcerative colitis starts in the rectum and can affect the entire colon or only part of it. It may be called proctitis if only the rectum is affected and left-sided colitis if only the lower half of the colon is affected. If most of the colon is affected, it may be called pancolitis.
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Ulcerative Colitis Causes And Risk Factors
Ulcerative colitis happens when your immune system makes a mistake. Normally, it attacks invaders in your body, like the common cold. But when you have UC, your immune system thinks food, good gut bacteria, and the cells that line your colon are the intruders. White blood cells that usually protect you attack the lining of your colon instead. They cause the inflammation and ulcers.
Doctors arenât sure why people get the condition. Your genes may play a role the disease sometimes runs in families. Other things in the world around you may make a difference, too.
Things that can affect your risk of getting ulcerative colitis include:
- Age. Itâs most likely if youâre between 15 and 30 years old or older than 60.
- Ethnicity. The risk is highest in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.
- Family history. Your risk could be up to 30% higher if you have a close relative with the condition.
Food and stress donât cause it, but they can trigger a flare of symptoms.
Not Everyone Will Understand The Intensity Of Your Disease
Although ulcerative colitis can affect many aspects of your physical health, its often considered an invisible illness. Depending on the severity of symptoms on a given day, people with the condition can often still move around without any obvious signs that theyre in pain or discomfort. It puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders when you are chronically ill and it’s not visible, because you have to explain yourself time and time again, Skomski says. And since people between the ages of 15 and 30 are one of the more at-risk age groups for developing ulcerative colitis, people with the condition are sometimes perceived as too young to be sick.
People may also have a hard time wrapping their head around the pretty major lifestyle adjustments you might have to make with ulcerative colitis. My lifestyle’s not like a typical 20-something, Sam says. I think a lot of my friends see this as the intense period of their life: staying up all night, going to concerts that go until the middle of the night, going to bars, things like that. And I just can’t.
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Survey Design And Participants
This was an Internet-based survey using a disease-specific questionnaire. No treatments were offered, and there was no randomization or blinding. QLife, Inc. conducted the research from February 2019 to March 2019. The survey was registered with the University hospital Medical Information Network with the identification number UMIN000035731.
Survey participants were recruited from an IBD patient panel of QLife, Inc. Subjects with ulcerative colitis who had visited medical providers regularly in the past year were included. There were no specific exclusion criteria, but there were discontinuation criteria for the survey, as follows: a serious ethical policy violation or a serious deviation from the research plan during the research period, a request to discontinue by the participant, noncompliance with the survey plan, or the survey operator determined that it was necessary to stop the survey.
How Does Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis Affect My Childs Mental/emotional Health
Like many conditions, ulcerative colitis can have a negative psychological effect, especially on children. They can experience physical, emotional, social and family problems. Because of the medications and/or general stress from the situation, your child may experience:
- Mood swings.
- Worry about appearance and physical stamina.
- Vulnerability because their body doesnt function normally.
- Poor concentration.
- Misunderstandings with friends and family.
Children need mutual support from all family members. Its helpful for the entire family to learn about the disease and try to be empathetic. Seek out a psychiatrist and therapist to help your child manage such challenges of their ulcerative colitis.
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Your Mental Health And Ulcerative Colitis
Living with UC can be stressful and often comes with periods of deep frustration and sadness. But if you find yourself anxious or depressed most of the time for several weeks or longer, its important to seek help from a mental health professional.
Rates of depression are higher in people with UC than the general population, and anxiety is also common in people with UC, according to the Crohns & Colitis Foundation. Its important to address these issues as seriously as you would any other symptom or complication of UC.
For more information on UC and mental health:
- Practicing yoga or tai chi
- Spending quality time with friends or family
- Participating in any activities that you enjoy
You Can Have A Normal Life With Uc
Lately I havent been very reliable when it comes to raising awareness and advocating for others living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. My excuse is that it all boils down to one phrase: life happens. Prior to November 2016 I had been extremely involved and active in the IBD community. I am passionate about helping others who also battle with ulcerative colitisespecially new j-pouchers.
Then my life changed when Baby Ninja came along. Ever since I found out I was pregnant on that fateful day in December 2016, my heart has been divided. Advocacy is still a huge part of my life but now, Baby Ninja takes first place.
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Is Coconut Water Good For Ulcerative Colitis
After a bout of severe diarrhea, a common Crohn’s symptom, you may need a little more punch than just plain old water. In this instance, for an IBD like Crohn’s disease, it’s best to turn to products with added electrolytes. Coconut water a natural source of electrolytes can make a refreshing change, says Catsos.
Traveling With Ulcerative Colitis
Parts of the world are starting to open up again, but traveling with UC can be a daunting prospect. You may worry about whether youll always have access to a restroom when you need it or whether food options will fit with your dietary needs. And its possible that your UC symptoms could leave you unable to take part in activities you have planned.
You cant account for every possibility when you travel, but you can plan ahead to make sure youre as prepared as you can be. That means taking the following steps before you leave on a trip:
Find out about restroom facilities and meal options. If youre going on a vacation, dont book your stay at a hotel or resort until youre satisfied that the facilities offer what you need. You may be able to request a seat near a restroom or a special meal on an airplane or train. If youre driving, you can plan out restroom and meal stops ahead of time.
Talk to your doctor about your plans. Your doctor may be able to prescribe extra medications to bring along in case you develop symptoms related to UC, such as diarrhea or a GI tract infection. You can also develop a plan to contact your doctor or a local one if the need arises when youre away.
Pack backup supplies. This can mean anything from baby wipes to extra food that you know you can tolerate, if an acceptable meal or snack isnt available at some point. Bring along extra clothing options in case you need to change unexpectedly.
- Get plenty of rest.
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Managing Prescriptions For Ulcerative Colitis
Unlike other chronic health conditions, UC doesnt typically involve complicated management of prescriptions. Youll usually be prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug, an immunosuppressant, or a combination of medications, and youll get instruction on how often to take them.
While it may be tempting or easy to skip your medication once you start feeling better, its important that you dont. Taking all of your medications as prescribed helps make sure that your UC stays in remission. In fact, not taking medications as prescribed is a major cause of UC flares.
Your treatment may also involve getting infusions of a drug in a healthcare setting on a recurring basis. If your doctor prescribes this treatment, its important that you show up for your appointments as scheduled to make sure the drug keeps working as intended.
For more information:
What Is The Treatment Of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a lifelong disease with constant periods of flare-ups and remission . Presently, there is no permanent medical cure for it, but there are various medications that can provide symptomatic relief, reduce inflammation, and manage flare-ups.
Treatment involves medical and surgical management depending on the disease severity. Patients would also require dietary and lifestyle changes.
- Medical treatment includes the following:
- Medication to suppress and/or modulate the immune system
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Vitamin And Mineral Supplements For Ibd
A person with IBD who eats a healthy, varied diet does not usually need to take vitamin supplements. But if they have a dietary deficiency, they may need tablets or occasional vitamin B12 injections. For example, a person on a low-fibre diet may need extra vitamin C and folic acid because they dont eat enough fruit and vegetables.A person with Crohns disease who experiences steatorrhoea may need calcium and magnesium supplements. Most children with IBD should take supplements to help them grow and develop normally.
Are Bananas Good For Ulcerative Colitis
Bananas are high on the list of healthy foods if you’re in an ulcerative colitis flare. They’re easy to digest and rich in potassium . People with irritable bowel disorders, like ulcerative colitis, are often deficient in this mineral. Blend one cup of low fat milk with one cup of yogurt, a ripe banana, and ice.
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Does Deep Remission Mean Im Cured
Right now, the only cure for UC is surgery to remove your colon and rectum. Even when youâre in deep remission, thereâs still a chance youâll have a flare in the future.
Being symptom-free for a long time can give you false confidence that youâre fully healed from UC.
âItâs human nature,â Iroku says. He says being in remission makes it easy to go about your day-to-day life and stop managing your condition.
âWhen people are in deep remission, sometimes they stop taking their medication. Unfortunately, your risk of a flare goes up. Itâs a story we see all the time. The good thing is, there are usually things we can do to try and bring back under control.â
He reminds people living with UC to talk to their doctor before they stop taking a medication.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Stomach Problems
Apart from bloating, Apple Cider Vinegar for stomach problems like gas and constipation also works well.
People claim that apple cider vinegar acts as a mild laxative, speeding up gastric movements to move food along and out of the body.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ACV possesses antimicrobial properties that can calm unpleasant symptoms of gas and constipation.
Some people also say that ACVs antimicrobial properties can ease the effects of food poisoning.
Heartburn is also said to be treated by ACV by a lot of people. Heartburn is caused by too little acidity in the stomach, and apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that can help increase the acidity of your stomach to aid digestion and pass stools on time.
For some people, acid reflux is a result of too little stomach acid.
Apple cider vinegar might be beneficial for acid reflux because it introduces more acid into the digestive tract, balancing the acid levels in your stomach.
People also believe that mallic acid in apple cider vinegar has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties and may also help with improving bowel irregularities.
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Nail Changes And Nutrient Deficiency
Some people with IBD may also struggle with nutrient deficiency, which can also have implications for their nails. For example, too much or too little vitamin A can make your nails brittle or fragile, and too little vitamin C can lead to a condition where the skin under your nails may bleed.
Iron deficiency, or anemia, could also have an effect. Indications of anemia may include nails that are spoon-shaped or become dry and break easily.
Do any of you have problems with fingernails or toenails? asked one MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam member. My daughter-in-law suffers with anemia and she seems to be suffering similarly.
If your nails undergo changes that point to a nutritional deficiency, your doctor can discuss treatment options with you. Addressing malnutrition issues could have a longer-lasting effect on your nail health than only using temporary, topical treatments.
How Symptoms Adaptation Strategies And Outside Support Interact To Influence Adaptation And The Ability To Live A Normal Life With Uc
Whether patients are able to maintain or regain a sense of a normal life with UC appears to be a complex interplay between disease activity and symptoms, the impacts of these, attempts to adapt and outside support . Those patients who, overall, describe and judge their disease activity to be mild were also more likely to indicate that they were able to regain a sense of normality. Most, but not all of these patients, thought that their medication was successful in helping them control symptoms and impacts. All but one had adopted some adaptation strategies and half described the positive influence of outside support. However, several patients who described mild disease did not convey a sense of a normal life. Most of these had been diagnosed relatively recently, related uncertainty about the effectiveness of their medication, were testing out adaptation strategies and were less likely to describe the positive influences of outside support.
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