Having ulcerative colitis (UC) may impact the quality of life of a person in many ways. Depending on the intensity of the symptoms and the severity of the disease, simple daily tasks may become difficult. Making some lifestyle changes may help a person live well with UC.
For a person with UC, it is important to pay attention to their diet. Some food items may trigger flare-ups. How can one still get the right amount of nutrients they need while keeping these triggers at bay?
Here is a diet plan that may help:
Easy to digest food, helps slow the bowel movements and limit diarrhoea. Fiber consumption is kept down to around 10 to 15 grams per day
High in lean meat (about 30% of the total daily calorie intake). Fiber in the diet comes from fruits, roots, legumes, and nuts, rather than from grains
Food containing poorly absorbed carbs and sugar in the gut are avoided. May improve symptoms like gas and bloating
Food to eat
Dietary requirements may change during UC flare-ups. Usually, the best food options for people with UC include:
Fruits and vegetables
Lean protein sources like fish, chicken, lean pork, eggs and tofu
Cereal and other grains
Food to avoid
Some foods items may exacerbate symptoms, such as:
Keeping a food diary
Planning of what to eat throughout the day and when UC flare-ups occur, can help narrow down personal food triggers. This can be particularly helpful while trying a new diet.
Things to remember
One’s dietary requirements and limitations will change according to the symptoms they have. So, the UC diet plan may differ from person to person. To guarantee that the right quantity of nutrients is taken without worsening of the condition, it is advisable to consult a dietitian.
One should focus on keeping a positive mindset. With proper guidance from a doctor, one may overcome UC and keep the symptoms under control. Joining a support group or being with those who have UC may also help.
Here are a few tips that may help one overcome UC:
Some UC support groups can help with any concerns a person might have, e.g; somebody in a support group may give a travel tip or discuss helpful coping skills.
In health conditions like UC, which can hinder the quality of life, trigger frustration, anxiety, or depression, physical activity may be beneficial:
Exercises that may help are as follows:
The right exercises are usually based on the severity of symptoms and what one can tolerate.
Speak with a doctor for guidance on choosing suitable workouts to avoid flare-ups.
With symptoms like diarrhoea, stomach pain, gas and rectal bleeding, irrespective of the type of work, UC flare-ups can be awkward and might affect one’s productivity at work.
Here are some tips that may help:
The challenges of traveling with ulcerative colitis
People with UC worry about what might happen when they leave home or while travelling. On top of the list is not having access to a washroom nearby. It is important to plan washroom breaks in advance.
At airports, the most valued travel strategy would be to request for a wheelchair. Having a wheelchair also means someone will accompany and help if required . Also, checking in early and going for a bio break before boarding may help.
There are many other practical tips that may help people with UC. Some of these include:
If the world is calling to explore, one should be able to do so with confidence even after having UC by preventing and managing flare-ups.
To keep UC symptoms at bay, living healthy is very important, which may in some cases can occasionally be at odds with stepping out to celebrate an occasion. Here are some tips that can help one celebrate occasionally, even with UC.
Take control of UC by following a healthy lifestyle and taking medicines regularly
Eating well, knowing and avoiding triggers means more control
Avoid alcohol while socializing. One can have a good time even without alcohol
Do not feel inferior and isolate self because of UC
If one ensures to eat well and avoids getting stressed out, they may be able to make the most of their celebration time.