How to Manage Ulcerative Colitis Flares – Follow Helpful Tips
When inflammation and ulcers (sores) develop in the inner lining of the colon, the condition is called Ulcerative Colitis. It is a chronic auto-immune disease that can have periods without any symptoms (remission) followed by flares-up (relapse) when the symptoms become severe. Ulcerative Colitis can negatively affect your normal quality of life and regular activities. You may feel unpleasant and frustrated with the Ulcerative Colitis flares up and often find yourself helpless. Fortunately, the Ulcerative Colitis flare-up treatment is available such as medications; diet and lifestyle changes that can help you to manage or stop the flare up symptoms and lengthen the time of periods of remission when there are no symptoms.
In today’s article, we discuss below points that give you a better outlook about how to manage the flare-ups of Ulcerative Colitis:
- What is the meaning of Ulcerative Colitis flares up?
- What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis flare up?
- What is the Ulcerative Colitis flare-up duration?
- How to manage/stop Ulcerative Colitis flare-ups?
- What diet to follow to manage Ulcerative Colitis flare?
- What is the natural treatment of Ulcerative Colitis?
What is Ulcerative Colitis flare up?
Ulcerative Colitis flare-up is the condition when the symptoms of the disease become very severe or worse after a period of remission (when there are few to no symptoms).
What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis flare up?
When the symptoms of the disease become severe, you may experience these symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps or pain that may be moderate or severe
- Diarrhea that may become moderate to severe when it may also lead to dehydration
- Urgent or frequent bowel movements
- Blood in stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss due to diarrhea and loss of appetite
- Nutritional problems due to severe flaring
What is the duration of Ulcerative Colitis flare up?
Every person experiences Ulcerative Colitis differently that can be progressive and the symptoms can get worse or completely changed. People with the disease experience periods of remission and the unwelcome periods of relapses or flare-ups. There is no actual duration of flare up as it differs from person to person.
How to manage/stop the Ulcerative Colitis flare-ups?
Changes in the diet and lifestyle help you to manage the symptoms of flare-ups and lengthen the time between remissions and relapses.
Dietary changes to follow for managing Ulcerative Colitis flares:
Avoid dairy products:
Certain foods can aggravate the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis during a flare and dairy is one of these food items. Avoid eating or drinking or limit the use of dairy products such as milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt and other products. Following this tip will help you to get relief from abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gas.
Avoid fiber-containing foods:
A flare can result in losing your appetite, but you still need nutrients. Generally, high fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains are considered as the best source of nutrition but these may make your symptoms severe. So, you need to avoid eating raw fruits and veggies but you can eat them if they are cooked, steamed, baked, roasted or even grilled.
During your UC flares, you may experience dehydration due to diarrhea, so drink plenty of liquids and keep yourself hydrated. Water is the best right option.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine & carbonated drinks:
Alcohol can aggravate the inflammation in the intestine and worsen diarrhea, so avoid drinking beer, wine and other mixed drinks containing alcohol. The same goes with beverages that contain caffeine such as coffee, iced tea or soda, so you should avoid them especially during a flare. Carbonated drinks may also cause trouble because they frequently produce gas.
Eat small meals:
Instead of eating three large meals in one day, it is better for you if you eat five to six small meals throughout the day. These small meals should be planned, healthy and balanced and this is the best way of following a diet to manage ulcerative colitis. You may also consult a nutritionist for planning these balanced meals.
Lifestyle changes to follow for managing Ulcerative Colitis flares:
A regular exercise helps to keep a normal functioning of your bowel and even mild exercises can do much better for you in relieving the symptoms. Focus on simply walking for half hour per day or do some other activities such as yoga, biking, swimming or aerobics. You can also talk to your doctor about setting up a proper exercise plan for you.
Control stress levels:
Although stress doesn’t cause Ulcerative Colitis it may make your symptoms severe while triggering the flare-ups. Find out different ways to keep calm and one of the right stress-management techniques is an exercise that helps to reduce stress and relieve the depression.
Take medications as per prescription:
Don’t take double dosages of prescribed medications for Ulcerative Colitis treatment if you are flaring because any change in the prescribed treatment plan may make the symptoms worse or even trigger the flares. The same goes with skipping dosages when you feel good during the periods of remission.
Plan & locate bathrooms during a flare:
During a flare-up, you need to use the bathroom more often and urgent so you must know about the restrooms. Also, for any emergency situation when you are heading out, you can pack a kit with the items such as toilet paper, baby wipes, underwear, ointment, deodorizer and extra pants. This will help you to feel that you are fully prepared.
You may feel uncomfortable talking to people about your condition but if you need help, don’t afraid to seek support from your family members, friends or co-workers. Feel free to talk to them about how to feel with Ulcerative Colitis because it helps them to understand what you are going through especially during a flare. You feel much relief when you get the hand of your loved ones in times of need.
Consult the gastroenterologist regularly:
During your treatment, your gastroenterologist needs to see you for regular checkups and if you have any concerns or need help to manage Ulcerative Colitis flare-up, you should consult the physician. Establish a good relationship with your doctor and be honest about your symptoms and condition as how they are affecting you because this all helps the gastroenterologist to determine an appropriate treatment plan for you or makes changes in the prescribed treatment plan.
For the best Ulcerative Colitis treatments in Riverdale, New Jersey, visit GI Endoscopy Practice:
If you are looking for a board-certified, experienced and reputable gastroenterologist for treating the Ulcerative Colitis or to manage the Ulcerative Colitis flare-ups, consult Bharat Dasani, MD who is highly recommended gastroenterologist for the best treatment of Ulcerative Colitis in Riverdale, NJ. For scheduling an online appointment, you can visit our website and fill the contact form or call 973.248.1550 for an immediate response.