Tips for Staying on Track
Making smart choices to help you stay in remission from ulcerative colitis (UC)
When it comes to maintaining remission from UC symptoms, there are things you can actively do and choices you can make every day to help. Here are a few suggestions that may help keep you free from flare-ups.
Take your medication as prescribed
If your UC is in remission and you haven’t had a flare-up in a while, it might be tempting to stop taking your medication. Staying on your prescribed treatment, as instructed by your doctor, may be an important way of helping to maintain remission. If you have any concerns about your treatment, always talk to your doctor.
Tips for remembering to take your medicine:
- Make taking your medicine part of your daily routine, such as taking it at the same time every day, as prescribed by your doctor
- Use electronic reminders, such as cell phone texts or alarms, to let you know when your next dose is due.
Tips when traveling:
- Be sure to pack enough medicine to last for your trip. You may want to bring along a few extra days’ worth, in case your plans change
- Keep at least some of your medication with you in your carry-on bag, in case luggage is delayed, lost, or stolen
Some other things to consider
In addition to taking your medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor, these suggestions may also help you maintain UC remission.
It’s always a good idea to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet so that your body can get the nutrition it needs. While no specific foods have been proven to cause UC, you’ll want to avoid any foods that seem to make your symptoms worse. For some people, these may include high-fiber foods, raw vegetables, “gassy” foods such as beans, cabbage and broccoli, and, in some cases, dairy products.
Eating large meals is hard on the digestive system. Try eating 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day instead of 2 or 3 big meals.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, because there is a risk of dehydration with UC. However, try to avoid beverages with caffeine because they can irritate the intestines.
Stress doesn’t cause UC, but it can make symptoms worse. So think about ways to reduce the stress in your life. And, since getting rid of all stress is impossible, find ways to manage it. Exercise can help, even light exercise like walking. Also consider activities like yoga, meditation, or a massage.