What Are The Complications Of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis may lead to complications that develop over time, such as
- anemia, a condition in which you have fewer red blood cells than normal. Ulcerative colitis may lead to more than one type of anemia, including iron-deficiency anemia and anemia of inflammation or chronic disease.
- bone problems, because ulcerative colitis and corticosteroids used to treat the disease can affect the bones. Bone problems include low bone mass, such as osteopenia or osteoporosis.
- problems with growth and development in children, such as gaining less weight than normal, slowed growth, short stature, or delayed puberty.
- colorectal cancer, because patients with long-standing ulcerative colitis that involves a third or more of the colon are at increased risk and require closer screening.
In some cases, ulcerative colitis may lead to serious complications that develop quickly and can be life-threatening. These complications require treatment at a hospital or emergency surgery. Serious complications include
Severe ulcerative colitis or serious complications may lead to additional problems, such as severe anemia and dehydration. These problems may require treatment at a hospital with blood transfusions or intravenous fluids and electrolytes.
Anything Featuring The Poop Emoji
Slippers, socks, blankets, earrings, crop tops, and pool rafts you can get them all with a poop emoji on them these days. Think about your friend, their personality, and their style, and use that to come up with something they will find useful. Type it into google and then add poop emoji and Ill bet youll find exactly what youre looking for. Poop emoji items are always good for a laugh!
How To Find A Meal Kit That Wont Trigger A Flare
Kennedy tells people with ulcerative colitis to keep a daily food journal to track which foods trigger a flare-up. By narrowing down the foods you can and cant eat, youll have an easier time finding meals that will fit your diet.
Kennedy also recommends checking the nutrition labels for fat content, because too much fat can trigger a flare. You never want one meal to account for 75 percent of your daily fat, for example, she says.
Plus, not all fats are created equal, she says. Meals that contain a lot of fat from cheese or red meat can be difficult to digest for people with UC, she says. For example, fat that comes from salmon, as opposed to steak or butter, is less likely to cause GI issues for people with colitis, she says.
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Spread Joy For Loved Ones With Uc
When shopping for your loved one who has UC, remember to keep their personality in mind. Depending on their sense of humor, some of these gifts may not be appropriate and you could try something more personal to lift their spirits. However, if your friend loves to laugh at themselves, go nuts and buy all the things to put a smile on their faces. Looking for even more gift ideas? Weve got you covered.
A Donation To Crohns & Colitis Uk
If your IBD friend already has all of the above, why not simply make a donation to Crohns & Colitis UK for them? Crohns & Coltis UK is the UKs leading charity in the battle against Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Founded as a patients association in 1979, they now have 35,000 members across the UK.
They work to make life better for the 300,000 people in the UK with all forms of IBD.
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What Is Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition in which your colon and rectum are often inflamed. The swelling can lead to small tears in the lining of the colon and rectum, which may bleed or produce pus. The condition can lead to significant stomach discomfort.
You can reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis by paying attention to your diet. Certain foods may trigger inflammation and lead to painful flare-ups. Choosing foods that don’t irritate your system can help you avoid discomfort.
If you have ulcerative colitis, your colon and rectum are prone to irritation and inflammation. The colon is the part of your large intestine, also called the bowel, and the rectum. Your rectum is where stool is stored before you go to the bathroom.
The inflammation of the tissue in your bowel leads to open sores inside the lining of the intestine. Those sores can bleed or produce pus or mucus. You may notice pain or irritation from the inflammation and sores.
It’s not clear what causes ulcerative colitis. Some experts think it may be an autoimmune problem. Normally, your immune system fights off infections. With ulcerative colitis, your immune system mistakenly attacks the tissue in your bowel.
Other experts believe that chronic imbalance in your gut bacteria might be the cause. Your gut normally should host certain “good bacteria” to assist digestive functions. If the good bacteria are missing or are only present in low numbers, you may have a flare-up of ulcerative colitis.
Complications Outside The Bowel
Colitis doesnt just affect the bowel. As many as 1 in 5 people with Colitis develop problems in other parts of the body. Most affected are joints, eyes or skin. These are known as extraintestinal manifestations . They usually happen during a flare-up, but can occur without or before any bowel symptoms. These complications can often happen to people who dont have Colitis too. For many of the complications, there are things you can do to reduce your risk.
You may have pain and/or swelling in your joints. Around 1 in 6 people with Colitis experiences joint problems. For some, this will get worse during a flare, but will usually improve with treatment for Colitis. Others may have joint problems even when bowel symptoms feel better. Find out more in Joints.
People with Colitis are more at risk of developing thinner and weaker bones or osteoporosis. This can be due to ongoing inflammation, smoking, taking steroids or low levels of physical activity. Calcium is needed for bone formation, and this may be low if your diet doesnt contain enough dairy. Weight-bearing exercise, calcium and vitamin D supplements, not smoking and avoiding long-term steroid use can help. Some people may also take bisphosphonate medicines. Find out more in our information on Bones.
Colitis can affect the skin in different parts of the body.
Anaemia can make you feel very tired. If its more severe you may also have shortness of breath, headaches, and general weakness.
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Keeping A Food Journal
Everyones body is different, so its possible for two people who have UC to have different trigger foods.
Logging what you eat throughout the day and when digestive issues occur can help you and your doctor narrow down your personal food triggers.
A food journal can be especially helpful if youre trying a new diet.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms And Signs
The symptoms and signs of ulcerative colitis may come and go. During flare-ups of the condition, you will notice the following symptoms:
- Patches of painful, red, and swollen skin
- Irritated or bloodshot eyes
In a severe flare-up, you may notice shortness of breath, fever, or a fast or irregular heartbeat. You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice those symptoms.
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Soothing Supplements Like Peppermint Oil
While your loved one should consult a doctor before taking supplements, some research suggests oral peppermint oil supplements can benefit people with IBS. Although the research wasnt focused on Crohns or ulcerative colitis, it does suggest some digestive benefit.
Clinical guidelines published in January 2021 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology suggest peppermint oil to relieve IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain.
Some brands are specific for cramping, and they work beautifully, says Dr. DeVito. The active ingredient is mentha piperita , and it has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic components to it and it’s a natural way of calming down their intestines.
The Best Diet For Ulcerative Colitis: Splitting Fact From Fiction
Many people claim to have cured ulcerative colitis with diet or supplements.
Unfortunately, there is no diet or pill that can cure the disease.
However, certain diet changes have shown tremendous promise in reducing symptoms and easing discomfort, helping patients live a normal life once more.
This article explains what we currently know about the role of diet in ulcerative colitis.
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Ingredients To Avoid If You Have Uc
When you experience a UC flare-up, you should avoid foods that may worsen symptoms such as frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, bloody stools, and stomach pain, as well as fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Limiting sugar is especially important during a time of active diarrhea, as sugar can make this worse, says Kennedy. Id recommend avoiding added sugars at all costs and switching to unsweetened applesauce instead.
If youre thinking about using artificial sweeteners, that may not be such a wise choice, either.
Artificial sweeteners are controversial, with some people feeling that they could possibly be a trigger food for those with IBD, Kennedy explains. It would be a personal choice to include them in a colitis-friendly diet.
Although the evidence is thin, a review published in September 2021 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, suggest that artificial sweeteners might trigger inflammation-causing changes to the gut bacteria, which could be problematic for people with conditions like IBD.
People with UC may also be more sensitive to gluten, a protein thats found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. The symptoms of gluten intolerance include bloating and diarrhea.
There isnt an ideal frequency for indulging in sweets, but moderation is key. When youre not dealing with a flare, Kennedy says you may be able to indulge a little, but the main goal is to try to limit the chances of triggering UC symptoms.
Books That Inform And Inspire
Sometimes the best remedy is knowing that you are not dealing with IBD alone. When people record their own experiences with IBD, it can help offer insights or new resources and help expand the IBD community.
Check out Everyday Healths recommendations for books that address diets for IBD, personal stories, advice, scientific research, and self-help novels.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Probiotics may modestly reduce disease activity in active disease, but do not increase remission rates.34 However, Lactobacillus GG and Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 have been shown to be as effective as 5-ASA for maintenance therapy.16,17 Acupuncture has shown a small symptomatic benefit in active disease.35 Wheatgrass has also shown some effectiveness in reducing symptoms of active disease.36
Nutrition Store Gift Card
Severe gastrointestinal symptoms disrupt digestion and leave some people with UC lacking in nutrients they need. Calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamins D and B-12 are a few of the most common deficiencies among people with this condition.
A gift card to GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, or a local health food store can help your friend or loved one stock up on all the supplements their doctor says they need.
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Girls With Guts Retreat Registration
The Girls With Guts organizations annual retreats are an opportunity for adult women with UC to create friendships and learn about different ways to improve their lives emotionally, mentally, and physically. These events can be life-altering for a lovely lady living with UC. The retreat usually goes from a Friday through Monday and allows the attendees to connect, learn, and share their stories with each other. Registration ranges in price but hasnt gone above $300 in years past.
Crohns & Colitis Uk Local Networks
Our Local Networks of volunteers across the UK organise events and provide opportunities to get to know other people in an informal setting, as well as to get involved with educational, awareness-raising and fundraising activities. You may find just being with other people and realising that you are not alone can be reassuring. Families and relatives may also find it useful to meet other people with Crohn’s or Colitis. All events are open to members of Crohns & Colitis UK
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Christmas Gifts For The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Sufferer In Your Life
Inflammatory bowel disease can be difficult at any time of the year but especially when the Christmas period hits.
When you live with a chronic illnesses that causes debilitating cramping, heavy fatigue and multiple toilet trips without counting surgeries that may become a possibility if the disease is severe enough the idea of a busy festive period can be overwhelming.
While everyone else is getting ready for parties and Christmas shopping, a person with inflammatory bowel disease is getting tired out, struggling to get through the masses of people with no energy, worrying about where the nearest toilet is.
And so, to give those in your life who live with inflammatory bowel disease a helping hand this Christmas, weve created a gift guide just for them.
Of course, not all IBD sufferers want gifts associated with their illness and you should definitely not make it a theme. However, the odd IBD-themed gift can show that you care, and that youre wanting to make an effort to try to understand the illness. Itll also show that youve gone above and beyond to really think about that person and it saves you spending money on things useless to them, right?
Below, heres 17 gift ideas for the person in your life living with inflammatory bowel disease.
Best Gifts For People Living With Ibd
You may wonder what would be a good gift for someone with inflammatory bowel disease . Anything that would help them live more comfortably, or maybe ease a symptom such as pain or fatigue, would be welcome in most cases. Either that or a fun distraction that can be enjoyed by someone who might be housebound or does not have a lot of energy is also a good idea. Here are some gift ideas for people who have IBD.
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Public Toilet Survival Kit
One of the biggest bummers about living with UC is how frequently we find ourselves in public restrooms, which tend to be significantly less clean than our home bathrooms. Help a friend with UC out by getting them this cute little public toilet survival kit. While it definitely doesnt have all the ideal items it has the bare minimum needed, all in one container that could easily fit in a purse of backpack.
Would You Like More Information On How To Start A Low Fodmap Diet For Ulcerative Colitis
Tap the blue button below to download our Eat This, Not That list as well as additional resources for IBS and colitis
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About Kimberly Yawitz
Kim Yawitz is a registered dietitian and nutritionist in St. Louis, Missouri.
She currently works with sports nutrition and weight management clients for a private practice. Prior to that Kim worked as an inpatient clinical dietitian, developing nutrition care plans for patients with health concerns ranging from autoimmune disease to critical illness.
Learn more about her on the About page.
Joe Leech, Dietitian
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Health Problems Affecting Other Parts Of The Body
Some people with ulcerative colitis also have inflammation in parts of the body other than the large intestine, including the
- joints, causing certain types of arthritis
- liver and bile ducts, causing conditions such as primary sclerosing cholangitis
People with ulcerative colitis also have a higher risk of blood clots in their blood vessels.
Eating When You Are In Remission
While theres no cure for UC, you may experience periods of remission. During this time, youll be symptom-free and your UC wont interfere with your daily life.
Theres no definitive way to avoid flare-ups forever, but you can prolong your remission periods by maintaining a diverse and nutrient-rich diet that does not include trigger foods.
To stay symptom-free, it may be helpful to follow one of the diets that other individuals with UC find successful, as well as introduce new foods slowly and stay hydrated.
However, its important to consult with your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.
Some foods that may help keep you feeling good and hydrated during remission
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What Should I Eat If I Have Ulcerative Colitis
If you have ulcerative colitis, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Talk with your doctor about a healthy eating plan.
Ulcerative colitis symptoms may cause some people to lose their appetite and eat less, and they may not get enough nutrients. In children, a lack of nutrients may play a role in problems with growth and development.
Researchers have not found that specific foods cause ulcerative colitis symptoms, although healthier diets appear to be associated with less risk of developing IBD. Researchers have not found that specific foods worsen ulcerative colitis. Talk with your doctor about any foods that seem to be related to your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest keeping a food diary to help identify foods that seem to make your symptoms worse.
Depending on your symptoms and the medicines you take, your doctor may recommend changes to your diet. Your doctor may also recommend dietary supplements.