Can You Continue Playing Basketball with Ulcerative Colitis?

I’m a 25 year old college student, and I have just been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis about a week ago.

It has been very frustrating and depressing. I’ve lost about 15 pounds and counting. I play university basketball and am now unable to play or exercise the way I usually do. I’ve also missed a week and a half of classes now and exams are just around the corner.

I really don’t know what to do about this, it scares me and feels like it’s not going away.

Is there anyone with UC that is able to eventually continue at a high level of athletics? Or is this a part of my life that I need to accept that is over?

I’m on prednisone now and it seems to keep my frequent bathroom visits down during the day, however I am constantly up through the night into the early morning until I take the drug again the next day. My social life has completely disappeared within one week, and I feel generally sick most days.

Any tips and help would be appreciated.

– This story submitted online¬† by “BBallLover”¬† submit your story here.

3 thoughts on “Can You Continue Playing Basketball with Ulcerative Colitis?”

  1. I was diagnosed with UC in 2002, while I was a competitive cyclist. I was also a mountaineering instructor and adventure racer (24 hour races)

    First, let me say–I’m sorry. With UC comes loss. Your life will change, as you have already seen. You asked for advice, so here are some of the hardest lessons I’ve learned. The hardest lessons also produce the most growth, just like a hard workout.

    1. Be flexible. You can still enjoy life, but you may need to find other vehicles for enjoyment.
    2. For now, relax, don’t try and exercise so much–concentrate on healing. Healing takes a lot of energy, and hard exercise is a stressor on your body. Stress is a trigger for UC. Exercise alone may not cause a flare, but the cumulative stress burden is greater when you’re working out hard.
    3. You may be able to get back to playing hard, but for now, adjust your expectations. Your body is sick.

    Now the good part: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet has given me my life back. I went into a hardcore flare in 2008, and could hardly climb a flight of stairs. Now, 2.5 years later, I am in pretty good shape again. I just ran a trail marathon in Dec, and have managed to maintain that fitness.

    So, I guess I want you to know that in order to live with this condition for the rest of your life, you should take some time and reflect–adjust your expectations, take good care of your body, and most of all be patient. There are lots of us out there living full lives with UC.

  2. There are a number of professional athletes that have UC and Crohns disease. I know David Garrard the quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars has Crohns and has had a couple really good seasons. It totally depends on your body and the severity of the disease. I have UC and used to play basketball like 3 or 4 days a week in college (before being diagnosed). I can’t imagine doing that now because the drugs and the disease have sucked so much of my energy. On a flare up theres no way I could play, but if the disease is under control I usually still play 1 or 2 days a week. If you can keep the disease under control with diet and what not you may still be able to compete on a daily basis it just depends on your body. I would definately say that is is possible though, and there are a number of examples of people out there who are doing it. Hang in there :)

  3. You will be ok. I found out I had UC colitis about a year and a half ago. And I thought my life was over… But it really ain’t that bad. I think it happend for a reason. Everything happens for a reason.

    I played basketball the other night after not playing for a year . And I had some cramps but they went away. I read about it . Alot of studies say we need to exercise . Walk about 6 hours a week. It helps prevent colon cancer

    Just get some exercise daily drink alot of water and stay on a blan diet . ( no spicy foods ) and take your meds . And live life . YOLO

    Try multivitamin and power Da fo las ) I don’t know how to spell it but its a probiotic from whole foods .

    God bless everybody who reads this . We will all be ok, we are gods children

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