Ulcerative Colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation, ulcers, and sores in the large intestine and colon. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis are frequent intestinal movements, bloody diarrhea, and more. There are common mistakes that make Ulcerative Colitis worse and avoiding these mistakes is an important part of managing the condition. Some of these mistakes include:
Skipping medications is the main reason people experience flares. A variety of medications is used to treat ulcerative colitis, depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s overall health. It can be tempting to skip doses once you start to feel better. Resist the temptation as it only makes things worse.
Stressing the Body
Stress can lead to a boost in the activities of the body system. A heightened immune system response can lead to inflammation, or simply disrupt a normal routine. This can lead to poor diet, sleep, and drug habits.
Not drinking enough Water
During an episode of diarrhea, the risk of dehydration increases because the body may be losing more fluids than it is taking in. This can be dangerous to the body’s well-being and its ability to heal. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent the negative effects of dehydration.
Drinking as much water as possible during an ulcerative colitis flare and avoiding caffeinated coffee and soda are the best ways to stay hydrated.
Eating Large Meals
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can be aggravated by large meal portions. Smaller portions can ease any pressure put on the digestive tract. Consider having five fist-sized meals every three to four hours instead of three large meals a day. In addition to helping reduce the discomfort of symptoms of ulcerative colitis, it is also a way to cope with nausea or loss of appetite that might accompany the symptoms.
Treating Infections with Antibiotics
Infection outside the intestines will not necessarily aggravate ulcerative colitis, but antibiotics may make it worse. If you are taking an antibiotic for an infection, consult your doctor if you start experiencing diarrhea. An antibiotic switch may be needed. Your doctor may also suggest taking a probiotic, which can help reduce diarrhea associated with antibiotics. It is also possible to develop an intestinal infection with similar symptoms, so if an antibiotic drug switch does not help, consult your doctor to make sure that you do not have an additional infection that needs attention.
Eating Foods Which Trigger Symptoms
Although there are no specific foods that are universal triggers of ulcerative colitis, many people with ulcerative colitis find certain foods appear to either result in symptoms or worsen symptoms. It pays to avoid these foods once you know what they are. For example, dairy products can be particularly irritating to people who have both ulcerative colitis and lactose intolerance. If this is the case for you, ensure you stay away from all dairy products.