It Helps To Have A Network Of People With Ulcerative Colitis
Hopefully, youll find yourself with a tight-knit group of friends and family members who are ready to support you through even your very worst days. But no matter how well-intentioned those loved ones are, the only people wholl really get what its like to live with ulcerative colitis are other people who have it.
Even my best friend and my boyfriend will never understand what Ive gone through like my friends that have ulcerative colitis do, Skomski says. Until you live it, you dont know what it feels like to go through all those years of people not believing you, having the worst pain in your life that you have no understanding of. For a really long time, when I was in my denial phase, I thought, I dont need to have those people in my life, its just gonna make me feel like the sick girl all the time. But to have people that have gone through the same thing changed my life. I dont think I would be so positive and would embrace it as much as I do if it werent for having those people in my life that have the same disease as me.
It can also be such a relief to save valuable energy by skipping a few steps in the explaining process. Im so used to having to go through the whole song and dance of This is what I went through, Skomski says. When I connect with people that have ulcerative colitis, I dont have to do that. Its like a weird bond that I didnt know that I wanted or needed, but I definitely do.
In My Shoes: 24 Hours With Crohns Or Colitis App
In My Shoes is an immersive experience that allows anyone to find out first-hand what its like to have Colitis.
From low energy levels to managing pain, from rushing to the toilet to juggling work and a social life, the app will allow friends, family and anyone you want, to see first-hand how the condition can affect every part of your body, and every aspect of your life.
We have information for friends and family, employers, and colleagues. Find all our information online.
We have around 50 Local Networks across the UK that bring local people affected by Crohns and Colitis together. They are run by volunteers and host a range of events, from educational talks to socials. Check our website or call our Helpline to find your nearest Local Network.
Nutrition Tips For Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a term used for two specific and separate diseases: Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Nutritional recommendations are different for each disease and for each individual patient. It is important to discuss the treatments that are right for you with a registered dietitian and with your doctor.
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Hit The Barre To Increase Muscle Mass
According to a report in Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, muscle-building exercises are helpful when you have IBD because many of us struggle with low muscle mass due to the disease or medication side effects. But you dont want to be lifting super-heavy. Thats where Barre classes come in. Classes usually start with a warm-up where you use very light weight, along with your body weight, to work your upper body muscles. Then you move on to your abs, legs, and butt to tone those muscles as well.
Do Any Medications Have Nutritional Side Effects
Moderate to severe flares of IBD are often treated with corticosteroids , cholestyramine and 5-ASA compounds . These medications have nutritional side effects that should be addressed. If you use any of these medications, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian for treatment advice.
- Prednisone causes decreased absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the small intestine. It also causes increased losses of calcium, zinc, potassium and vitamin C. With continual use of high doses of prednisone, the result may be bone loss and development of bone disease. People on prednisone may need up to 1200 milligrams a day. Protein needs also are increased for people taking prednisone because it increases protein breakdown in the body.
- Cholestyramine decreases absorption of fat-soluble vitamins , as well as folate, vitamin B-12, calcium and iron.
- Sulfasalazine interferes with folate absorption. People taking this drug also should take a 1 milligram folate supplement each day.
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If you have ulcerative colitis you can live a long healthy life by managing your symptoms to the best extent possible. Learn more.
Anytime you are diagnosed with a disease or ailment it feels like a kick in the chest. You work hard to stay healthy yet there are certain diseases you can’t prevent or cure.
However, if you have ulcerative colitis you can live a long healthy life by managing your symptoms to the best extent possible.
Living With Ulcerative Colitis Doesn’t Have To Slow You Down.
What Is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes bouts of diarrhea and ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon that can bleed and pus.
Scientists do not know what causes ulcerative colitis though people with this disease have abnormalities of the immune system. It is unclear if these abnormalities are the cause or result of this disease.
- Growth failure in children
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary tremendously from mild to severe. Some individuals go into remission for long periods with no symptoms at all whereas those with severe symptoms such as massive bleeding, severe illness, rupture of the colon or risk of cancer will need their colon removed.
Recommended Exercises If You Have Ulcerative Colitis
For people with ulcerative colitis and IBD in general, low- and moderate-impact activities are encouraged as helpful forms of exercise during remission. Lower impact exercises include activities like walking, swimming, bicycling, and yoga. Light strength training with free weights can also help to build muscle and bone density, and it can be done from the comfort of your home.
I like to go swimming. Moving in the water is a lot easier, one MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam member said. Exercises like walking, swimming, and water aerobics are easier on the joints and may be more appropriate if you experience UC-related joint pain.
MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam members also discuss other light and moderate exercises they enjoy, like walking, light weightlifting, and yoga. Walking helps my colon and small intestines feel better too, one member said. Another member also described the benefits they get from walking: Walking is awesome. I find it makes me feel better mentally and physically.
MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam members also add exercise into everyday activities like choosing the stairs over taking elevators, lifting groceries, doing housework, and running errands. While there are many different types of low-impact exercises to choose from, whats most important is that you find something that works for you.
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Why Are You So Tired
Per the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, fatigue is a common complaint for those with an IBD. It can be caused by a number of things, such as inflammation, anemia, or poor sleep.
“People need to understand that ulcerative colitis is a serious disease,” Novack explained. “If you can’t go to an event or you have to stay home from work, it’s not because you’re slackingit’s because you really are sick.”
Jill Plevinsky hated when her friends and family would try to get her to do things she’s not up for by saying, “Oh, come on. You can’t be that tired.” Plevinsky preferred to answer them by saying, “If you lost as much blood as I do with each bowel movement, you’d be pretty wiped out too.”
Ulcerative Colitis Can Take A Toll On Your Mental Health Too
Being told you have a chronic illness can feel like someone has just rerouted the course of your whole life. I went through my own acceptance process, Skomski says. I definitely went through a period of questioning if my life would ever be normal. With time, processing the reality of having ulcerative colitis became easier. I had to learn theres nothing wrong with me its just part of who I am, Skomski says. You have to do a lot of mental work to flip the way you perceive it because otherwise it can really eat away at you.
Dealing with the symptoms can also be mentally and emotionally taxing. The psychological side of the pain is a lot worse than the actual physical sensation, Sam says. Its when you feel like its never going to end, or youre going to be stuck in that high level of pain for a long period of time, or that no one gets how hard it is to deal with it. This has led to constant vigilance about her health. Its very hard for me to not be closely monitoring my body 24/7, Sam says. The catch-22 is that stress is definitely a trigger for me.
Food Preparation And Meal Planning
While there is no one-size-fits-all for meal planning, these tips can help guide you toward better daily nutrition:
Eat four to six small meals daily.
Stay hydrated drink enough to keep your urine light yellow to clear with water, broth, tomato juice, or a rehydration solution.
Drink slowly and avoid using a straw, which can cause you to ingest air, which may cause gas.
Prepare meals in advance, and keep your kitchen stocked with foods that you tolerate well .
Use simple cooking techniques boil, grill, steam, poach.
Use a food journal to keep track of what you eat and any symptoms you may experience.
Benefits Of Exercise For Ulcerative Colitis
Exercise can provide various physical and mental health benefits if you live with ulcerative colitis. While further research is required to understand the direct effects of exercise on UC, its possible that exercise can help to reduce inflammation, increase bone and muscle strength, and improve mental well-being, which are all particular concerns if youre living with UC.
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How Can I Prevent Weight Loss With Uc
Doctors dont recommend any one diet for people with UC. The idea is to eat foods that give you enough calories plus a balance of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Work with a dietitian to find a meal plan you can tolerate and that you enjoy.
Certain foods can make UC symptoms worse. During flares, you may need to avoid certain hard-to-digest foods and drinks like:
- fresh fruits with skin and seeds
- dairy, such as milk and cheese
- sugary foods, such as candy and soda
However, you dont need to automatically cut all these items out of your diet.
Instead, you can figure out which foods bother you with the help of a food diary. Write down everything you eat and drink, and take note of when your symptoms flare up. Share this diary with your doctor and dietitian. Together, you can come up with a plan that ensures youre eating balanced meals.
After a flare, you can slowly add foods back into your diet. Youll want to try and increase your calorie and protein intake to make up for what you lost.
Here are a few other tips to help you put on weight:
Finally, talk to your doctor about UC treatments. Medications can help to manage inflammation and ease the symptoms that prevent you from eating and gaining weight.
Whats A Good Plan To Manage Uc Cramping
Monitor your medications. Talk to your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medications youre taking. Iron deficiency is common with UC, but oral iron supplements have been shown to increase the risk of inflammation and cramping. Some antibiotics and pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, may also increase flare-ups and cramping.
Review your diet.Keep a food diary and note the connection between the foods you eat and your UC symptoms. In general, its smart to stay away from processed foods and those high in saturated fat and sugar. High-fiber foods and dairy products can also cause UC cramping, but check with your doctor before eliminating foods from your diet, to ensure youre getting the nutrients you need.
Eat frequent, small meals. Instead of two or three large meals, eat four to six smaller meals spaced more closely throughout the day. Also, take your time while eating and chew thoroughly.
Skip caffeine and carbonated drinks. Caffeine can cause gas, intensifying abdominal cramping. It is also a stimulant, which can make cramping and diarrhea worse.
Drink enough water. People with UC may be at increased risk of dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of H2O. A good rule of thumb, according to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation, is to aim for about 64 ounces or eight 8 oz glasses per day.
Benefits Of Exercise For People With Ulcerative Colitis
Theres no denying the benefits of regular physical activity. Exercise can reduce blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight.
It can also promote a better mood. Chronic health conditions like UC can interfere with your quality of life, triggering frustration, anxiety, or depression. Physical activity stimulates your brains production of endorphins, or feel-good hormones.
The more you move and exercise, the better you can feel mentally, making it easier to cope with the physical symptoms of UC.
Exercise is also helpful because of its anti-inflammatory effects. Uncontrolled inflammation in the intestinal tract leads to ulcerations and symptoms of UC. After exercising, you may notice that your condition improves.
Exercise can also reduce your risk of colon cancer, which is a complication of UC. Regular exercise stimulates intestinal contractions and helps food pass through the digestive system quicker, reducing gastrointestinal exposure to carcinogens.
Some people feel that they dont have time to exercise. But it doesnt take a lot of time to reap the benefits of a healthy exercise routine. In fact, you only need about two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise a week.
There are many different options when it comes to exercise. You may find that one works for you and your UC symptoms better than another.
Managing UC symptoms often involves medication and dietary changes. But since stress can exacerbate UC, its also important to reduce your stress levels.
Exercising Safely With Ulcerative Colitis
Q1. I have lost 12 pounds because of a recent bout with colitis. I am afraid to eat. Can you provide me with a diet or suggestions so that I can gain weight? I am afraid to eat a normal diet so I have been eating bread, rice, bananas, potatoes, some chicken and fish, and hamburger. What supplements can I take for vitamins and minerals? Sometimes Ensure is too rich. Please help.
The best way to gain weight with colitis is to eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and to consume more calories than you have been eating. Also, you need to get your colitis under control. If your disease comes under control, there will be less fear of eating, and you should be able to put the weight back on. Ensure is a good, balanced nutritional supplement but if you find that you dont like it, you could try Boost or Glucerna, which are also very good.
Q2. Ive recently lost a lot of weight and started back to running 5K distances after a 15-year layoff. In that 15 years time, I have developed ulcerative colitis. My symptoms are pretty well controlled all except for recently, when I run. Is there anything specific I can do to ease symptoms during running or other forms of intense exercise?
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Exercise Dos And Don’ts For Ulcerative Colitis
Physical activity can keep you healthy and improve your life, but your UC may put some limits on the types you do. To exercise comfortably and safely:
- Use an online workout or DVD at home if gas or diarrhea makes it uncomfortable to take a group class.
- Walk or jog on a treadmill, rather than outside, if you need to stay close to a restroom.
- Don’t exercise when it’s very hot, which can make dehydration more likely.
- Switch to a gentler kind of workout if you get diarrhea after aerobics or lifting weights.
- Drink plenty of fluids before and after exercising, especially if you have diarrhea or ostomy discharge. Water is always a good choice. So are sports drinks with glucose or fructose plus electrolytes.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “What People With Inflammatory Bowel Disease Need to Know About Osteoporosis.”
Patricia L. Roberts, MD, professor of surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston colorectal surgeon, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA.
Wolin, K. British Journal of Cancer, February 2009.
American Cancer Society: “The Complete Guide — Nutrition and Physical Activity.”
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America: “Keeping Fit,” “Extraintestinal Complications: Bone Loss,” “Living with Ulcerative Colitis.”
Cleveland Clinic: “About laparoscopic intestinal surgery.”
Narula N. and Fedorak R. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, May 2008.
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