Six Ways to Prepare for an Ulcerative Colitis Flare

SSuchy | Nov 13th 2012 Apr 11th 2017

1 of 7
1 of 7

Ulcerative colitis and other Inflammatory Bowel Disease flares are almost impossible to predict or prevent. Here are six simple step to make sure you’re prepared for a flare if it does happen.

2 of 7

Call your doctor

If you start to have an IBD flare, call your doctor or gastroenterologist right away.  It is important to keep your doctor aware of your situation if for no other reason that to ensure you have an accurate record of each of your flare.  Chances are your doctor will want to see you in his or her office as soon as possible.

3 of 7

Change your diet

During an IBD flare, your stomach and intestines will be extremely sensitive.  Each person’s food sensitivities will differ, but generally you should stick to foods that are easily digested, such as grilled chicken, yogurt, white rice, applesauce and bananas.

4 of 7

Stay hydrated

When you have multiple diarrhea bowel movements per day you will lose a lot of water.  If that fluid is not replaced quickly, you will become dehydrated.  Be sure to drink a lot of water and, if your stomach can handle it, a diluted sports drink with sodium and electrolytes to replace the nutrients lost.

5 of 7

Toilet paper and baby wipes

Because most IBD flares involve several bowel movements per day, it is a good idea to keep toilet paper in stock, as well as baby wipes to sooth the skin if the flare lasts several days and is especially painful.

6 of 7

Take time to rest

An IBD flare will wear you out both physically and mentally.  If you can afford to take time off of work, do it.  If not, go easy on yourself.  Get plenty of sleep when you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

7 of 7

Learn relaxation techniques

It is helpful for some people to establish a yoga or meditation practice to relax the body during a flare.  It is best to ease your way into these practices (don’t do yoga for the first time during a flare) and use them simply to take your mind off the discomfort and relax yourself. There are many yoga and meditation videos that can guide you through a beginner’s practice.

NEXT: What 'Healthy' Means with IBD
More on this topic

Colitis and Anxiety: How to Handle It

Erica Sanderson

Maintaining a Positive Outlook with Ulcerative Colitis

Erica Sanderson

Six Treatment Options for Ulcerative Colitis

SSuchy

What 'Healthy' Means with IBD

Jackie Zimmerman

For Chronic Illness Patients, Why Is It So Hard to Say 'No'?

Jackie Zimmerman

IBD: 6 Ways to Do Away With the Dark Clouds

BrianIBD

Yoga For IBD

Jennifer Rackley

Living With Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis in Changing Seasons

BrianIBD

Probiotics and Ulcerative Colitis

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

The Power of IBD Friendships

Jackie Zimmerman

How to Eat When You Have Ulcerative Colitis

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

How Technology Makes Living with IBD Easier

Jennifer Rackley

FashOstomy: Looking Fabulous is Still Possible with an Ostomy

Brooke_Bogdan

How I Let IBD Define Me

Jackie Zimmerman

Biologics and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Ulcerative Colitis and Finding Support

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Travel Tips for Ulcerative Colitis

Jennifer Rackley

Motherhood and IBD

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Eliminate Worry When Eating Out with UC

Jennifer Rackley

Early Use of Biologics Beneficial in IBD

Jennifer Rackley

Ulcerative Colitis: There's a Spice for That

Nir Salomon

How Biologics Can Help Your Colitis Over Time

Jennifer Rackley

Using Biologics for Ulcerative Colitis: Doctor Q&A

Erica Sanderson

Why You Should Try an Elimination Diet

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

What are the Types of Ulcerative Colitis?

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Doctor Q&A: How to Manage Ulcerative Colitis

Erica Sanderson

Sharing Your Condition at Work: Is Honesty Truly the Best Policy?

Jackie Zimmerman

The Domino Effect of IBD Flare-ups

Jackie Zimmerman

IBD & PTSD

Elizabeth Roberts

Navigating IBD Financial Costs

Jackie Zimmerman

Balancing Life With Ulcerative Colitis and Fatigue

Jackie Zimmerman

Learning to Live with Ulcerative Colitis

Jackie Zimmerman

Challenges and Successes of Being Employed With IBD

Jackie Zimmerman

IBD: Reduce Inflammation With Better Sleep

Jennifer Rackley

My Blind Date With A GI

Jackie Zimmerman