Emotional Impact

Five Tips for Coping with Ulcerative Colitis

Sara Suchy Nov 13th, 2012 (updated Nov 5th, 2014)
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Ulcerative colitis and other forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, such as Crohn's disease,  can have severe physical symptoms that must be treated. These debilitating and sometimes unexpected physical symptoms can have an emotional impact. Here are some tips to dealing with the emotional side effects of ulcerative colitis.

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Be prepared
Be prepared

An ulcerative colitis flare is very difficult to predict and much of the unease that comes with the disease is not knowing when a flare will happen.  A good way to alleviate this worry is to always be prepared for a UC flare.  This means having the proper supplies and medications on hand, foods you can tolerate during a flare in the pantry and your doctor's number close by.

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Establish a support system
Establish a support system

Ulcerative colitis presents a set of lifestyle challenges that are difficult to cope with on your own.  Find a trusted friend or partner to open up to about stresses UC places on your life.  Be as honest as you can about the needs you will have during flares and accept the help that is offered to you when the stress becomes especially difficult.

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Stay active - if you can
Stay active - if you can

Establishing and sticking with an exercise regimen is vital to a healthy lifestyle.  However, ulcerative colitis and other forms of IBD can present road blocks and challenges to physical activity, especially during a flare.  Talk with your doctor about physical activities that you can do to help keep your mood high and improve your overall health.

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Talk with your doctor
Talk with your doctor

If you have questions about your diagnosis, your condition, how to live with your condition your treatment or anything else related to ulcerative colitis, raise them with your doctor.  He or she will be your best source of information, especially if you are newly diagnosed.  And the more information you have the more control you will have over your condition.

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Seek help when you need it
Seek help when you need it

Living with any chronic illness can be very difficult to manage mentally and emotionally.  Family members and friends will try, but may not always understand the difficulties ulcerative colitis in particular puts on your life.  Talking to a professional can be very helpful in these situations.