As any patient suffering from an Inflammatory Bowel Disease, such as ulcerative colitis (UC) knows, the symptoms of this chronic disease can be both debilitating and disheartening. But don't despair - there are ways to manage your UC so you can get back to leading a full and productive life. 

Understand the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis and When to See a Doctor

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis are crucial in initiating effective treatment and avoiding complications. Some of the common symptoms include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and fatigue. Beware, not all symptoms manifest in all patients. Some may experience additional symptoms, such as joint pain or skin rashes. 

It is true that these are symptoms that cover most IBDs which is why it is essential to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, especially persistent diarrhea or bloody stools, as they may require immediate medical attention. 

Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and prevent flares and complications for those with Ulcerative Colitis.

Manage Symptoms and Cope with the Stress and Anxiety

One major way to manage your symptoms is by creating a meal plan incorporating easy-to-digest foods like lean proteins like fish and chicken, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Be sure to avoid inflammation triggers such as high-fat foods, dairy products, and spicy dishes. It's important to be mindful of your body's unique needs and sensitivities when making dietary changes. With a little trial and error, you can find a meal plan that works for you and helps keep your ulcerative colitis symptoms in check.

Stress and anxiety are a part of everyday life, and sometimes it can be extremely overwhelming. Coping strategies can be anything from meditating, exercising, to simply talking to someone you trust. It's important to identify which strategies work best for you since coping methods vary from person to person. 

More than anything, we want to find a strategy or diet that works for you and see that you are able to stick to it. Implementing these strategies may take some time, but don't get discouraged. Remember that coping with stress and anxiety is a process and takes effort, especially when you’re are dealing with medical concerns.

Find Support from Others Who Share Similar Experiences with Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis can be a challenging disease to manage, but finding support from others who share similar experiences can be invaluable. There are multiple support groups out there. Individuals living with ulcerative colitis can connect with peers who understand the struggles that come with living with the disease. 

By sharing their stories and perspectives, support groups can offer encouragement, comfort, and hope to others facing similar challenges. Joining a support group can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with ulcerative colitis, helping them feel less alone and more empowered to overcome the obstacles they encounter. We, here at North Carolina Digestive Health Partners, encourage you to contact us and set up an appointment to help diagnose and help you find the best treatment plan for managing your Ulcerative Colitis.