What can I do about ulcerative colitis?
The questions to ask yourself
You may not even give it a second thought anymore. When friends call and ask you to meet them, you automatically say "No," because you are afraid of a flare-up of your ulcerative colitis (UC) symptoms. Telling yourself it is okay to miss out on places you really want to go is typical for people with UC. But there is so much more to life than your UC.
You may be afraid of flare-ups, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and gas coming back and keeping you from venturing out to public places. But you don't have to wait for the latest blockbuster to be released for streaming at home. To see that movie on the big screen, use careful planning to overcome your fear or reluctance.
Never feel at a loss, thanks to the bathroom finder
One practical tip is to map out restroom locations before you go to restaurants, shopping areas, and theaters. Here is a restroom finder you may find useful.
Prepare for the journey
For longer trips, carrying extra underclothing and wet wipes can help you feel more prepared. It is also very important to remember to carry enough of your medication for the length of your trip.
Keep track of symptoms, and keep asking questions
Take an inventory of the activities you have dropped out of or plans you have canceled because you have accepted that your condition is in charge. Then, think about how great it would be to turn the tables on your disease.
When symptoms flare up, do you:
- Tell yourself that "things could be much worse"?
- Ignore symptoms, telling yourself they will go away?
- Feel hopeless or pessimistic about your condition?
- Avoid certain job opportunities?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, it is time to take a more active role in managing your condition so you do not let it get the best of you. Extended relief could be within reach if you take positive steps, such as:
- Talking with your doctor about proper diet and exercise that fits your needs and helps you manage your symptoms
- Keeping close track of your symptoms
- Preparing by
- Finding out where the restrooms are ahead of time
- Bringing extra underclothing on outings
- Carrying extra toilet paper or wet wipes
- Taking your medication as prescribed