Ulcerative Colitis Tips


One of the 15,000 ulcerative colitis folks using the site adds:
"Like many UCers I have spent many hours trawling the internet googling the condition and came across your website a few years ago. I read your ebook and really liked your honesty and humour. As everyone says your positivity is so encouraging and now this is my go to website when I'm thinking about UC. Thankfully my symptoms are pretty much under control at the moment but just wanted to say thanks." Kate

Things That Work for Ulcerative Colitis

Introduction:

I am female, 37 (although feel 23), athletic (training for my first marathon!) and active. I love love love being outside and enjoying the place I live in which provides me with an amazing lifestyle. Needless to say, having UC disrupted that. But only temporarily.

My Story:

First off, I just want to say the purpose of my story is to provide hope.

Because I know what it feels like to think you are alone in your pain and suffering and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I was there. And unfortunately for us, UC isn’t really a “sexy” topic you want to bring up on the 3rd or 4th date. Tales of pooping yourself can only be reserved for a very select few which makes living with UC that much more difficult.

So while I think this is a great place to vent our frustrations, I also would like to contribute some positive stories of what has worked for me. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago and have not had a flare up in well over a year. It took a lot of time, trial and error and self experimentation to get here but here I am. So here’s what worked for me

1- Allopathic meds – These worked but only temporarily. After a few months the bleeding and cramping came back and my doc didn’t know what to do with me. I was organically diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis but it moved up my colon and became kinda patchy (which he said was odd and wanted to put me in a medical journal! ha!). Anyway, i was not interested in steroids so my journey began…

2- Naturopath – now I will say that overall, this didn’t work for me but it did make me feel better mentally which I strongly believe is half the battle. I had an hour long session with her and she actually wanted to know about ME not just my symptoms. It was the first time I felt like I was being “heard”. Definitely worth a try if you can afford the meds.

3- Acupuncture – this didn’t work for me. I tried a few and, well, nothing. And I really wanted it to work. But it just didn’t.

4- TCM – One of my acupuncturists gave me traditional chinese meds…also didn’t work. But again, everyone is different so I strongly urge you to trying out a bunch of differnet things

5- Lifestyle – this is KEY. my father is a physician and he urges all his patients to change their lifestyles before he prescribes meds. I’m talking diet and exercise. Very basic. You don’t have to run marathons, but you have to at least walk. Even if it’s around the block and back. I know it can be hard to headout sometimes but moving your body is key. Running can actually be pretty hard on your bowel and stimulates BM even for UC-free people. But I love running so I do it on a route where I know where the bathrooms are (when i’m in flare up anyway). I even ran a half marathon in mid-flare! It’s all possible with a little planning. I certainly found swimming to be the best, and yoga…

6- Yoga and/or Meditation – OMG i love yoga. All kinds of yoga. And if you’ve tried it and hated it…try a differnet teacher because they make all the difference in the world. You can also get resources from your library and online. Too many options to NOT do it. Hatha, Bikram, Ashtanga, Yengar…all awesome and amazing for relaxation, breathing, stretching and massaging those organs and bowels back into shape.

7- Diet – well we all know about SCD, but I urge people to try different things. When i am see signs of a flare up coming, I get more strict in my SCD diet. If not, I don’t eat many carbs but i do cheat. I do, however, make my own yoghurt, take vitamins and Udo’s oil (omegas).

8- Mind – it is so important to be kind to yourself. Especially when in mid-flare up. Do little things for yourself. Or ask your partner, parents, friends for help. There is NO shame in UC or Crohns. Even when you crap yourself! Good god it’s embarassing but at the end of the day, I kinda have to laugh at myself. It’s kinda funny. We’re all human and no one is perfect. We have our issues, diseases, quarks…learn to love it. Getting UC meant a lot of differnet thigns for me. Mostly it meant focusing more on health, but it also meant re-examining my life and my choices. What am i doing? Why am I doing it? Am I enjoying it or doing it because I feel obliged? Who am I really? Am I defined by my work? I never really lived consciously before all of this started. I can honestly say, I am about a hundred times happier now. And having to go through this journey is a huge reason.

RESOURCES
The best books I found were the SCD diet book and Jini Patel’s Thompson’s Listen to your Gut book. I LOVED Jini’s book because she gave TONS of options. I tried different things out and found what worked for me (which wasn’t always what worked for her). She talks about supplements, diet, relaxation and visualization techniques etc. I cannot recommend it more.

I also highly recommend Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. This may or may not work for you. But if it makes sense to you as you start reading (first chapter is not great…it gets SO good) it will change your life. It did for me in the best way.

Lastly, find someone to talk to about this openly. Everyone needs at least one person (and not a cyber person) to be able to open up to. I had one friend whom I could tell all my “omg i crapped myself heading to a meeting today!” stories. It meant a lot to me and made me feel so much better.

There is hope!!!!!!

I encourage everyone to share the positive as well as the negative in UC…how has it changed your life in a good way? What have you learned about yourself through this process? What things have worked wonders for you?

Good luck!

My Colitis Treatment Right Now: Partial SCD diet, vitamins, Udo’s oil, homemade yoghurt, exercise, yoga

–Submitted by “Mel” in the Colitis Venting Area

 




hope, meditation, yoga

4 Responses to Things That Work for Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Cynthia July 14, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story! I’ve been suffering of some form of a flare up for about a month now and while at work and going to the bathroom for like the 4th time before noon alone I broke down in tears of the emotional drain I am feeling today. I have been quite fortunate to have an amazing group of friends that just allow me to vent and be completely transparent with my symptoms as embarrassing as they may be and still love me and support me every day. In fact they encouraged me to just let it out because what I’m going through is real. Even typing I’m a bit overwhelmed with emotion because after reading yours and several other stories on this awesome site I know that I am not alone and well that many people have thought and felt the same things I have.

    Finding this site has been God sent. As I was sitting on the toilet I called out to God in desperation for relief for direction or something and I found this site and it just touched on everything and more that I’ve secretly felt.

    Forever grateful and motivated to continue fighting and not giving up.

    • Mel July 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      Hey Cynthia

      I feel your pain. Trust me.

      I think these types of diseases happen for a reason. We can choose to dwell and cry (which you still kinda have to do a little in the beginning) or you can look for the lesson and become a better person for it.

      Re. embarassing stories. Wanna hear my worst one? This’ll make you feel better!!

      I was training for a half marathon with a local running room… we were doing hill repeats a few km from the store and while I was feeling pretty good I was in mid-flare. After we were done, I was waiting with a friend when I felt it brewing…uh oh. “I gotta go!” And i was off to scout for a bathroom but for once in my life…no Starbucks! (i live in vancouver…they are everywhere!). I kept going but with every step i could feel it coming. Then it came. GAH!! Sh*t myself!!! I ducked into a alley and in midday light squated behind a dumpster. Yup. That’s right. MORTIFIED I just hoped no one would walk past or peer out their window. I had to grab for random leaves on nearby bushes to clean myself…threw my underwear in the dumpster and headed to the store where my stuff was. I was hoping I didn’t stink but i’m sure there was an “aroma”. Thankfully when I got to the store no one else was in the bathroom and I could clean myself up properly.

      This happened last year and i had been through the worst of UC (or so i thought!). On the bus home…i laughed out loud to myself and called my friend to recount the story. After 5 or so years…it only took me an hour or so to get over myself and find the humour. Next day, I went out for another run.

      All this to say…it gets better! We learn how to deal, how to laugh and how to just move on.

      I hope the resources I mentioned are helpful. Remember, nothing good comes fast and easy in life…

      M

  2. Adam
    Adam July 14, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Mel, you are so awesome for writing such an uplifting story here! thanks so much for sharing what’s working for you. thx SOOO MUCH! you rock!

  3. Kerri July 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Mel, Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s so nice to hear something positive. I have only been diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis for about 4 months, but started on the SCD diet right away and immediately saw results. Its obvious that diet and exercise are the key components to getting healthy again. I used to hate to cook, always worried about counting calories, and never ate a balanced meal. I feel like now I am eating healthier then I ever have before, and I am enjoying cooking for the first time as now I look for things I can eat, rather then those I cannot or should not. I no longer count calories because I know what I put into my body is always good!! Thanks so much for sharing and giving us all more hope!!

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