An estimated three million adults in the United States were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2015. These and other ulcerative colitis patients have to deal with the chronic condition’s signs and symptoms every single day.
From unbearable pain to embarrassing situations, patients with ulcerative colitis have to deal with unbelievable situations. Many ulcerative colitis patients rely on medication to live a somewhat normal life.
If you’re a patient living with ulcerative colitis, it’s time to take control of your condition. Keep reading to learn the facts about ulcerative colitis and colitis pain.
Speaking With Your Physicians
If you’re a patient who has ulcerative colitis or believes that they may have ulcerative colitis, the best thing you can do is communicate honestly with your physicians. If your doctors don’t know how you’re feeling or what symptoms you’re experiencing, they can’t do much to help you.
The easiest way to give a clear picture of your condition to your physician is to track your symptoms over time. Your primary care physician or gastroenterologist may ask you how often you’re experiencing symptoms or what foods cause your pain. Tracking your symptoms and your body’s reactions makes these questions easier to answer.
Trusting (and Questioning) Your Physicians
Your medical provider(s) may recommend some forms of treatment after assessing what your symptoms are. Don’t count their methods out on the first go-around. Try what they recommend and give your body a chance to respond positively or negatively to their suggestion(s).
However, it is healthy to have some skepticism. Asking your doctor why they recommend a treatment or how they think it will help is completely okay.
You shouldn’t feel like you’re being a bother by asking about your condition. It’s important to be sure that you’re getting quality advice that is customized for you as an individual.
Adjust Your Daily Life
Ulcerative colitis can take control of your life sometimes. Patients who have ulcerative colitis know this all too well.
If you experience colitis pain often, you may want to go out of your way to ensure that you’re always near a bathroom. Whether you’re on a plane or just going out to eat dinner, you need to make sure that you’re seconds away from a restroom.
You may also consider packing your own snacks for outings. If you’re going out to eat, it may be worth studying the menu before sitting down with your friends or family.
You should also keep some of your ulcerative colitis medications with you in your purse or another small bag. With this in mind, you should make sure to refill your medications so that you have a supply that can last you through the extremely painful days.
Take Control of Your Diet
If you have ulcerative colitis, you likely have dietary restrictions. Many patients with gastrointestinal disorders have several food intolerances.
If you want to know what foods you’re sensitive to, simply track your foods and any symptoms you may experience after eating them. You may want to watch out for the most common food tolerances like dairy and gluten.
We also recommend eating smaller portions as you understand what your body can and cannot handle. Take everything slowly and listen to your body.
You wouldn’t want to eat a half-rack of ribs and find out that you have an intolerance to red meat. That would be a pain so unbearable that you may have to take a trip to the emergency room.
Don’t Let It Stress You Out
Being an ulcerative colitis patient brings a load of stress. Ulcerative colitis patients are always waiting for the next exacerbation, the next trip to the bathroom, and the next embarrassing story to add to their collection.
The best thing to do is to relax. This is easier said than done, though.
You may want to try doing yoga or practicing meditation. These are calming exercises that you can try to center yourself and control your emotions.
You may also try going on regular walks. This is a low-impact workout that could also help to move things along in your gastrointestinal system. If you experience constipation, this could help you find some relief.
Ulcerative colitis patients may also consider joining a support group. By doing this, you’ll be able to connect with others who experience the same symptoms and annoyances that you do as an ulcerative colitis patient yourself.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t let ulcerative colitis rule your life. You need to make sure that you’re taking time for yourself and allowing yourself to unwind.
Talking With Others
Patients with gastrointestinal disorders may find talking about those conditions embarrassing. Bowel movements and bathroom talk aren’t exactly the most polite of conversations to be having with friends and family members.
However, it is important to let your loved ones know what’s going on with you. If you run to the bathroom for an hour, they should understand that this is a chronic condition that you cannot control.
If you’re worried about the people you know not being supportive, you may want to arm yourself with information to tell them. Your friends and family may be more understanding if they understand the physiology behind ulcerative colitis and how it affects your everyday life.
If you’re dating with ulcerative colitis, you may find it difficult to bring the topic into a casual conversation. Your gastrointestinal condition may not be the best conversation for a first date, but you may want to bring it up sooner rather than later.
Medication for Your Colitis Pain
If you want to avoid dealing with recurring colitis pain, you should make sure that you’re receiving the right medications for your condition. You can place a new medication order on our website now if you want to get rid of the colitis pain fast.
Living with ulcerative colitis isn’t easy. Be patient with yourself and your body. As you’re finding out more about what your body can and cannot handle, these medications may help with any reactions you may have.
If you’re a patient who also experiences high blood pressure, you may be interested in our last post about hypertension.