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Colitis and Stress 151 Patient Survey Results – Part 4

ulcerative colitis stress management

The Final 2 Questions and Answers from the Colitis Stress Survey:

(once again, all data was gathered from 151 UC patients who participated on August 8th, 2012)

Question #5:

Are there any particular UC symptoms that you think are “more” related to stress compared to others?

(131 people responded to this question)

  • Overall poor digestion and exhaustion.
  • Yes the feeling that I am going to work and am in a flair and want to make sure I have my UC to a point that I feel like I dont need to rush to the toilet.I would like to go in a 12km walk coming up in a few months and the fact that there arent many toilets around or theres a large cue is stressful as I would like to go in it!I find the gym is ok as there are toilets near by.So urgency to go for me is stressful and crampy pains.
  • Stomach cramping
  • PAIN!
  • Pain, YES
  • Abdominal pain, rectal bleeding
  • Being female, there is definitely a correlation with that time of the month and getting diarrhea and constipation and sometimes UC bleeding.
  • Frequency and urgency increase when I am stressed.
  • usually if im stressed, i get a lot of ‘movement’ and noise coming from my sigmoid/colon
  • Constipation and wind.
  • no
  • diarrhea
  • Cramping!! and running to the loo
  • diarrhea!
  • Flare ups
  • Cramps, simple as. I think after a very stressful day I find I begin to lose more blood (maybe the day after too)
  • Not sure, maybe flatulence & sloppier bowel movements.
  • Blood. I always start having blood when I am stressed
  • Sometimes the cramping.
  • No
  • gas can be a problem .
  • All of my UC symptoms are related to stress and other factors but definitely stress is one of the triggers. Stress completely throws your body out of balance and can have a terrible effect on how I feel.
  • Not sure
  • Well there’s always that issue of not getting to the loo on time. If your out and about, don’t have any foods that can trigger that symptom.
  • Imflametion
  • no
  • Flares!
  • The stomach pain, but I am not sure about that.
  • Cramping
  • really loose bowl movements and that weird gurgling feeling in my intestines which is sometimes painful when i’m stresses
  • When each semester starts, I allow myself to get stressed about school and it flares up. Once I’m flared, anytime I feel stressed out the pain and frequency worsen.
  • Bleeding, urgency, frequency.
  • Bowel urgency and the inability to find a vacant public restroom at tne critical time.
  • No
  • No, all of them appear.
  • Ulcers, blockages and not being able to digest food properly, stomach pain and severe inflammation.
  • blood
  • Neausea, upset stomach, loose bowel movements
  • The need to go to the toilet so much and trying to do so discreetly, also the complete taboo that surrounds the symptoms – I try to hide the fact that I’m ill. Just trying to do anything in a social setting when trying to think what’s the most number of toilet visits I can get away with?
  • This last year I have started to get really bad joint pain. For a 33 year old woman I feel like I am 200 years old and can barely get out of bed. And well, explosive diarrhea when bad elements combine – for example: not eating properly+having coffee or too much coffee+stressing and making my whole body tense+not exercising+not resting enough = all equals bad news. It’s as though my nerves are in my large colon.
    The joint pain is still new and I don’t know yet much about it…
  • Stress that is more worry some, such as waiting for something (good or bad).
  • The cramping is always worse the more stress I have.
  • no
  • That’s a hard one because it would be different for everyone!I don’t really think it’s any particular symptom. However your individual flare normally begins…it’s usually that.
  • For me it seems the stomach pain is more prevalent during stressful situations.
  • more visits to the toilet. losing weight.
  • No, I think they all go hand-in-hand.
  • Not sure.
  • When I stress out my abdomen will hurt or cramp up.
  • BMs seem to come on stronger when I get stressful news or feel pressured.
  • Incontinence :( It’s almost the only time I can’t always make it to the bathroom in time.
  • Urgency
  • Cramping
  • No.
  • If I’m stressed and nervous, it causes me to tense up and have to run to the bathroom more urgently and often.
  • Just cramping for me.
  • No
  • No
  • no
  • Haven’t a clue, actually, about that.
  • In my case it is a flair-up
  • Cramping, bleeding, and pain tend to occur when the disease wants them to. But the urgency seems to link up to when I am more stressed out in the middle of a flair. It turns into a vicious cycle. Stress, urgency, stress from urgency, urgency from stress… etc.
  • not for me
  • This survey makes me want to log my uc systems and stress to correlate answers to questions like this.
  • If I allow myself to dwell on a problem that could start my uc going.
  • Burning sensation in my colon and bouts of diarrhea
  • The cramping
  • not sure, never really thought about when I have more pain and trouble with the bowel that it could be related to higher levels of stress.
  • No
  • not sure
  • The big D! If I am nervous or stressed my stomach gets grumbly and I get D.
  • diahreeha is 80% of the time related to my stress levels
  • All in General!
  • No, the whole thingis worse when I am under stress.
  • No
  • During a stressful time, I usually get cramps and have to use the restroom shortly after.
  • Diarrhea
  • no
  • accident anxiety… when I’m stressed I worry a lot more, and have more fears about leaving the house
  • Frequency and urgency.
  • Not in my case.
  • Frequent BM’s and abdominal cramping.
  • Not sure… I find I get very uncomfortable, bloated etc when I am stressed. Bleeding does not neccessarly seem to get worse but it’s hard to tell.
  • Yes. I hate the bleeding. It makes me anxious, and I hate that I have to smoke a little bit to keep it from flaring up too badly. On the other hand, I love that I can feel free to say no to all the junk food, without people thinking that I’m weird, because they all understand, that I’m on SCD.
  • For me, I’d say the stomach pain/lack of appetite is related to stress.
  • no
  • I almost automatically start to have more visits to the toilet with increased urgency when i’m stressed even when I’m fairly stable on my medication and things going OK – as soon as I get upset or stressed I can feel the gurgling – almost instantly
  • Family understanding
  • Long term stress is definitely harder on UC.
  • Cramping
  • Urgency. When I get stressed I run for the bathroom but usually don’t actually have to go.
  • Lower back pain, increased bowel movements.
  • I think they may all be equally related.
  • no not really
  • Stress seems to stimulate my gut instantaneously.
  • The frequent toilet trips increase massively and the cramp and wind gets worse.
  • Tiredness and stomach cramps.
  • Yeah I guess so, people vary all the time, so how does one determine which is which if the “specialists” in their field cannot conclusively determine the true and accurate cause of UC? Auto-immune yada yada, to me that is a theory that doesn’t really make sense. My immune system is working over-time and I recently discovered upon a visit to an ENT that its due to a massive infection in my sinus’s. I’ve had surgery a week ago to resolve this matter, and I honestly feel that the bacteria in this infection found its way to my stomach via post nasal drip and latched itself to the lining of my colon. I produced huge amounts of mucus in the sinus area and my body was receiving massive amounts via post nasal drip. I had a theory that I took to the GI, and he said there is a possibility that I could be correct. I also researched this, and found that scientists had in fact done tests on this theory and to my surprise found that I am spot on. Would love to share this with others as I feel it could truly help some people identify the cause of their UC, to me; current treatments on offer for UC only treats the symptoms and NOT the cause…we are picking at scabs and wondering why they never heal?!?!
  • For me it would be the pain/ discomfort in my stomach and the diarrhea
  • bleeding
  • Not for me.
  • I’ve noticed that when I’m particularly stressed, I can feel a flare coming on through the “colitis flu”-the aches, chills, and fevers that usually go away after a day in bed.
  • Stomach ache
  • Panic attacks are brought on by stress and generally this is due to UC where you are feeling like you need to visit the toilet.
  • Blood and mucous stools ate standard stress signs for me.
  • bleeding and amounts of blood directly correspond to the amount of stress.
  • No
  • not really. the symtoms i already have are escalated to some extent
  • Fatigue and cramping
  • I really don’t know, but I wish I did.
  • No.
  • No.
  • Fatigue, cramps
  • My debilitating symptoms really havent let up in 3 years…
  • No all symtoms come on together
  • cramps
  • Stress presents itself when I know I am leaving the comforts of home and as a result the urge to go to the bathroom becomes more frequent.
  • the cramping and pain – especially right after the bathroom
  • The more stress the more blood
  • They’re all part of the package really!!
  • The “burns” AKa colon cramps.
  • I think my cramping and urgency gets worse when I am stressed.
  • The cramping, pushing and the feel of needing to go to the bathroom.
  • No
  • No
  • Bleeding, diaherra, the number of bowels per day.
  • no
  • I’ve gotten ulcers in my mouth for years in the midst of stressful situations. Im convinced that my ulcerative colitis is similar in that regard.
  • Flares.
  • I am very stressful cos I am not the person I was
  • Looseness and frequency of stools


Question #6:

 If you have any ideas or helpful thoughts on how you manage stress in your life, please share those thoughts below:

(114 people responded to this question and the answers are FR!G!%$ AWESOME, so take your time reading them!)

  • Recently began yoga, “wish insurance would cover fees”.
  • I believe that I need to get back into yoga and meditation.
    Also a good old laugh can help.
    Last Sunday I fely yuck, we were suppose to go to friends and yes I could have stayed in bed that would have been nice as I am a busy person. However I decided to go and just enjoy my friends and families company. My friends know that I have UC. It was good it just made me not focus on myself and we had a good afternoon. I just ate bland food and sipped on soda & lime.
  • Exercise, yoga, friends and family, watch a funny, movie and take medicinal marijuana
  • Yoga
  • 1) Mindfulness – learn it, love it, live it!
    2) Stop watching the news. I also avoid conversations with others about politics or other “heated” topics.
    3) Be honest with yourself about what you can handle and how much time you have to do things others want you to do.
    4) Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night and one nap a week.
  • Well thought out days
  • Take time for yourself, your no good to anyway if your not healthy.
  • i walk my dogs everyday as soon as i get home from work for roughly an hour, this helps me wind down after a stressful day and gets the blood pumping around my bowel :)
  • I think that a meaningful yoga practice will help with stress
  • Creating a “me” area where I can relax, read, unwind. I also have a sister who is an ex-nurse, and she and I have a close, honest relationship which is mutually beneficial especially when it comes to discussing medical or personal matters.
  • if i think of a uc flare up..i get major stress
  • Dont feel bad for setting aside time all for yourself, if you need to get out of the house, just do it! dont feel guilty for feeling like you need a day off for watching a movie or sleeping in!
  • Look after your immune system.Self Care, consider your own needs.Stress Management essential!: There are general techniques that we can all use; however I think that stress triggers and management is unique to the individual and only exploration will allow us to find our own way to find out what causes and how to manage stress.Explore stressors in you life: Home, work, relational, environmental; once you recognize what the stressors are, become aware of how it affects you emotionally, physically and cognitively then learn techniques to manage them. Simple CBT will help distorted thinking, Relaxation, Mindfulness, exercise, healthy eating, good sleep regime, Therapy!! or self help sites.Understanding and Emotional support -you don’t have it, Find it!Make changes if you can in the areas that are creating the most stress, it’s not worth being ill for.
  • Take care of yourself first. Do yoga and get rest. Take my meds and good vitamins and supplements.
  • Best is to avoid it, but if you can’t, I would suggest that you deal with the stressfull issue sooner rather than later. Do not internalize stress.
  • Hot baths. Cuddles from OH and from my kids. Long walks. Apart from that I’d say I just ‘don’t’ manage stress because it’s not in my nature. Oh dear.
  • Exercise
    Taking time to relax
    Positive thinking
    Talking to friends & family
  • Drinking a cup of herbal tea, like chamomile and/or spearmint
  • Meditation has done wonders for me. Cleared up my symptoms.
  • Rest is soooo Important. lots and lots
  • yoga, mindful meditation, acupuncture, exercising, eating well, SLEEP (at least 8 hours a night.) REST when I need to rest and work when i need to work. just really listening to my body, then I will be happy. Some form of therapy whether its writing or speaking because it helps you get things out, no matter who you talk to whether its a doctor, therapist, or friend. The lifestyle changes that I have made are something that I am constantly working on so that it is mainly at a balanced level where I feel less stressed overall.
  • Make time for yourself, time to relax, time to do hobbies. Also don’t take on everyones worries or least be able to support people then seperate your mind from it. Most of all don’t keep everything to yourself if you need to talk do it and if you feel you have noone see a counsellor or ring a helpline.
  • Breathing helps, distracting your mind away from your stressful thoughts (easier said than done, but with practise, it can help) and taking up a hobby that makes you happy : )
  • I need help actually with stress management
  • Let things go…unless someone is going to get hurt, sick or die because of something, let it go! It is not important.
  • I have tried therapy and learned a few techniques such as trying to replace stressful thoughts with more pleasant thoughts. I also try to exercise regularly to keep myself as healthy as I otherwise can be. And, if all else fails, there is a glass or two of wine!
  • Go for a run, unless you are in a flare up, then I try to occupy my mind with peaceful things.
  • Take life with a grain of salt. Look at the big picture and realize everyone has something they have to deal with and this is just a short time and you can get through whatever is stressing you out, just like you have overcame things in the past.
  • I have realised in the past year or so just how much the mental side of things is part of my issues. I really let things get to me.I have been working hard on my anxiety/ stress issues. I think realising that it was a problem and not just a byproduct of uc was massively important.I have been doing daily yoga and recently started some resistance training. I also practice mindful meditation and am reading a book about ACT – a new therapy based on the ideas of CBT – called The Happiness Trap. Well worth a read. I have also looking into the importance of ‘coherence’ and heart rate variability and the use of HRV monitors like the Emwave2 from Heartmath to help with stress and anxiety.I really think if I can get a handle on my anxiety issues, it will really help with healing my guts and putting my uc into remission.
  • Keep a good sense of humor; always be able to laugh at some of the worst days !
  • Take time for you! Its the simplest thing and sounds like crap, but when I let go and started maknig time for myself everyday not only did it help my UC but other things in my life! If UC taught me one thing its that to take a day out every week or so for yourself is the biggest help.
  • Read about and put into practice Zen meditation. Nothing helps with the stress and dealing with pain like meditation.
  • …no i have no idea, maybe having a psychologist, but i don’t like that…
  • Being able to take a step back – be that taking a breather, meditating, focusing on something that calms you (for me I particulary like to paint as I concentrate on that so much I don’t notice anything else) and being able to retreat to a room with an ensuit for a while!
  • Doing all the things possible that help you- all at once and just trying to find that balance constantly, as it never appears to stay in place. For me it’s yoga type movement, avoiding spices that tend to hurt, balancing diet issues if I need it to be more bland or whatever, and trying to let go of things that get me worked up, which is hhhaaarrd. Also it’s good to keep good people around you and let them know how you’re doing.
    Try to let go and take a stroll.
    All if this is easier said than done when one is in the stress…
  • Again, keeping myself busy. Trying to have a positive outlook on things and reminding myself I cannot control everything in my life. I do, however, have control of my UC symptoms by proper diet, exercise, and medication.
  • Again, I say, Taiji. Some say Tai Chi.
  • Deep breathing. Meditation. Yoga.
  • As soon as you start to feel the stress taking place. sit down take a deep breath and collect you thoughts
    ask yourself what am i thinking about, and how do i feel. Do not worry about people around you, just
    focus on yourself.
  • I get stressed when commuting for work but I combat that with listening to audio books or my favorite morning shows. I also stopped listening to my favorite rock music because I think that would elevate my impatience on the road.
    If I get stressed at home with the kids or something else, I try a time-out for myself. I will leave the room or sit down and contemplate the situation so that my anger doesn’t elevate and I can rationally handle the situation. I also try deep breathing and that seems to help too.
  • I have been smoking marijuana for many years now and it helps me the stress and anxiety of the UC. I also have been drinking alchohol, witch is probably not a good idea. I hope to find a better solution.
  • I take baths, never thought I would enjoy them as much as I do as an adult male. Drink green tea. Relax in a dark room and breath. Listen to Whale songs of the northern pacific killer whale….not really, but maybe it could help.
  • I try to breathe. The past few months I have just been “accepting” the stressful situations instead of stressing over them, has helped a ton! Sometimes stressful situations are inevitable and all we can do is prepare ourselves, realize we can only do the best we can do, and tell ourselves positive affirmations to get us through it. Works much better than stressing over it!
  • Keep positive . Visualization of the situation before hand
  • I used to run. Triathalons, half-marathons. It seems to trigger episodes. I don’t know what to do… maybe yoga or pilates?
  • I can’t overemphasize the importance of exercise, for a number of reasons: the release of endorphins; the effects on blood pressure, muscle strength, sleep patterns, and weight control; the sensation of being “in control” of one’s body; the opportunity to be outside; the deep and cyclical breathing it encourages.I am also a firm believer in meditation and meditative physical practices, such as tai ji chuan, qi gong, and yoga. It is not just about controlling the breath or qi; it’s also about the practice itself. Routine and repetition help train the mind and create flexibility, perspective, and insight.
  • PUSH AWAY NEGATIVE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE!!!!! Surround yourself with calm, supportive, positive, HAPPY people….I cannot stress this enough. Granted, I know you cannot get away from every negative person/thing. All other things that stress u out…..JUST BREATHE. Realize that you cannot control every situation, and in the end, things always work out. Take time out and get ur mind off things….do what makes you happy and will make ur mind, body and spirit relax. The mind is SUCH a powerful factor in how our bodies feel. So take care of yourself and find positive outlets to relieve your stress….and don’t be afraid to reach out to others. Join online or local colitis groups…it helps to know that you’re not alone. You’re stronger than you may think. And someone else out there has it worse than you, so focus on the good you do have, and more good will come your way. :)
  • Allow yourself bad days, some days you are going to be stressed, accept it and find ways to make it better. Try yoga, call your mom, do whatever it is that makes you see the beauty in life that is sometimes clouded by your symptoms and the disease in general. Find a support group that understands and remember IT GETS BETTER!
  • Everyone is different. I need8 hours of sleep because I have the fatigue bug so getting proper sleep is impt to me
  • I try to rest when I can and I have learned that I need to say NO to protect myself more often.
  • I do a lot of deep breathing. And when I have flare ups I don’t eat just clear liquids for three days then try bland foods for a while and I better slowly go back to normal food
  • I’m old, meaning that the five-mile-a-day walk I used to brag about is a thing of the past. I have a heel spur on my left foot as well, and walking just isn’t a pleasure. But I do think exercise helps, and I do what I can.Mostly I think keeping your brain busy is very, very important in stress management. When you get to be my age, 82, sometimes getting up to let the dog out is stressful. I read — a lot — and spend hours a day at my computer with general browsing, email, media websites, etc. I am also a gamer and focus on games demanding memory rather than shoot-’em-ups.With the exception of my happy dog, I am alone now. My only son and I are estranged which has actually alleviated some of my previous stress; he has BPD which is, to say the least, hard on everyone, not the least of which is himself. For my own sanity, I simply had to shut off that source of stress which was by far the worst. My husband was a wonderful man and was suffering a lot; he was ready to go. And hard as that was for me to accept, I did. But I could not and did not accept the mental abuse from our son subsequently.That’s how I manage(d) my stress, plus one other really trivial-sounding thing: I smile, a lot. I swear, it makes me feel better!
  • Recently a student mentioned ‘cabbage juice’ for UC. I tried it in my last flair-up and it seemed to help. Is there someone else who has also tried cabbage juice?
    By the way Adam you are doing a great service by running the website and conducting all these surveys. Bravo! Keep up the good work. (Thanks whoever wrote this one!! much appreciated:):  -Adam)
  • I rely on mindfulness, a healthy diet, a good shot of vodka, and friends to get me by.In the past few years, I have been delving deeper into mindfulness. It has morphed part of my mind around to be not as angry and much more calm. This isn’t the best article, but it works. The books are much more powerful in describing the what and how of mindfulness
    ( diet! You are what you eat? Well it sure doesn’t mean that I am a rice and veggie stir-fry or a banana. But it does mean I get the nutrition my body needs and not all the bull s**t from meat, deep fried foods, and sugar drinks. I enjoy the chocolate bar or the Coke once and a while, but I keep them in check. Once a month I have a Coke with dinner and I usually feel a little crappy afterwards. Eat good, feel good! :)Vodka! Sometimes when all of that positive s**t doesn’t help or work, you just need a few stiff drinks to forget for a night. Awake with a more relaxed mind, ready to tackle the stress!And friends. I don’t need to explain myself on this one. Heather is the reason I am still standing sane in this world.
  • Honestly alcohol once in awhile helps—and occasional medicinal marijuana doesn’t hurt either. Seriously, whatever helps you relax–do it. I have great friends, that all know about my disease..When I am with them I am happy..I also started deligating stressful duties to my siblings as I can’t carry the load for everyone when family situations arise. Aging parents is difficult. I refuse to hinder my colon when others have healthy ones!
  • Bills don’t go away. Mo money mo problems. Spend less and pay your bills on time think twice before you make that huge purchase or sign a large contract. Hold onto your money and it will take care of you. Go to work and bust your ass so you won’t have time to stress at your job spend time witht the people you care about family and friends. They will help you through it but you got to ask for help people. Other than that don’t be a crabby patty; have fun get out and do stuff that make you happy.
  • A healthy diet,exercise, meds and a loving family&friends.And FUN!!!!
  • I think that exercise has helped in the past. I feel that I am someone who internalizes my stress and need to find ways to exert it.
    Talking to a counsellor, I feel that there are issues that have occurred in my childhood that I never really dealt with properly and i think they are still having an affect on the way I deal with stress.
  • Don’t press yourself & always try 2 relax
  • With me, it is exercise more, and just mentally try and shut out the chatter.
  • playing music instruments
    communicate with children
  • Work out
  • Exercise and taking my dogs for a walk. Photography and other hobbies.
  • Be open and honest with everyone! Include your family, friends, coworkers, waiters (when and if you eat out). People are more kind and caring than you think.
  • – read
    – take walks
    – try to be orginized
    – realize things will just “be”
  • No
  • I remember to breathe and realize that there will always be stress in life and remember that there is always someone: out there that has it worse. Yoga and jogging helps me destress
  • Excercise
  • I try to go by the motto “one step at a time…” and I find that making a list of things that I can cross off always makes me feel better, like I’m being proactive. If I’m sick that might mean something as simple as “order a yogurt maker” or maybe just “wash the dishes” (so I can feel like i did something normal people do).
  • Yoga and meditation!
  • meditation and exercise seem to be key in managing stress for me. I have also cut out gluten and dairy far the combination of these things seems to be helping manage my UC symptoms.
  • I have been given conflicting advice regarding exercise… I have been told by some to do regular exercise, and I have been told by others to just rest. I find exercise does help to relax you-but then wonder if the movement affects the bowel in a negative way?
  • Yoga and the relaxation techniques that are involved with that helps me a lot. So does exercise, especially long walks. Being selfemployed is also awesome, because I can work at home where it’s easier to keep my diet, do Yoga and exercise. A good laugh is awesome, and I love to listen to audio books and do practical stuff – like cleaning and other brainless stuff. That really relaxes me.The last thing, and maybe most important, for me, is to make sure that I have people I love and trust to confide in and get comforted by when it’s rough. I especially love it if they’, besides listening to me, will give me a massage or if I can sit and cuddle with one of my kids – even my dog. To sum it up: doing things I love relaxes me.
  • Music has always been a great outlet for me! It distracts me from the pain I’m feeling and it also calms me down when I’m stressed!
  • Talking to people and deciding whether it’s best to move away from people or situations rather than get sick – I am starting to believe that no-one is worth the stress that can lead to my illness – unless it’s due to their illness etc but selfish or nasty people are best avoided at all costs – pick your fights as it were and stay calm and surround yourself with loving supportive family and friends or get out in the forest and walk or whatever brings you peace and calm – you’re worth it!
  • Take a shit with hems
  • The Paleo diet has helped my symptoms and helps me keep a clear head. The inflammation in my body is greatly reduced because of it. If I cheat and have a little grain, even gluten free, I can feel it in my joints and belly immediately. I think the same applies to your brain and emotions.
    Exercise is important because it provides a release of tension and stressful energy. It helps me sleep more deeply as well.
    Biofeedback provides a good sense of awareness of stress in the muscles. It has been very helpful.
  • I make lists and make sure that I am accomplishing even ten smallest task. It feels good to see the tasks crossed off.
  • Find a quiet place to deflate, mediate, destress!
  • Keep your mind occupied .
  • Breathing, mindfulness, relaxation, meditation
  • During stressful periods I make sure I am taking probiotics and also get oriental/acupressure massages which I find help me relax. I also drink herbal teas like peppermint, ginger, and chamomile which calm down my gut and my nerves.
  • I have fantastic friends who help. Also I listen to relaxation CDs, apps on my phone. I have also had relaxation hypnosis which was fantastic :)
  • prayer
  • Spend time with people you love, and love being around. Laughter in abundance and activity levels that keep you fit and healthy.
  • When I am feeling enormous stress which causes symptoms I meditate. It has helped me put things into perspective and quite down my symptoms
  • No ideas… I’m looking forward to reading advice from others! :)
  • Deep breaths….it really does work!
    Let go of what you cannot change…
    Keep calm and carry on :)
  • Work/Life balance-Shutting myself off from work-related stress on weekends and at nighttime is essential.Proper diet-When I eat healthy, I feel healthier.Yoga-I tried a relax and renew yoga class in the middle of a flare, and I was surprised that I was able to make it through an hour and a half class without running to the bathroom. It calmed my nerves, which in turn affected by body.Sleep! When I’m stressed and it’s causing UC problems, I’ve learned that my body really needs the rest and it only hurts me in the long run if I fight it.Being prepared-I noticed in my last flare that having anxiety about public accidents led me to have problems with urgency. I would be ok in my home, and then within a minute of leaving my house, I would get the urgency feeling. I’d also notice that the moment my mind realized that I wasn’t near a readily accessible restroom, I would have to go. The panic of having an accident would cause accidents. I truly believe that it was the stress of not being near a bathroom that made my body react. Planning out my commutes, learning the public bathrooms in the area, keeping an emergency UC kit in my car, and even wearing depends on a few trips until my flare got better were tactics that took me awhile to come to terms with, but once I accepted them, my anxiety got better, which in turn created fewer episodes of panic.
  • Relaxing , not worrying and having faith things will get better.
  • Sleep is a big factor for me as well as remembering to breathe deeply. Take time out to meditate even in busy times of the day.Sit down, Close your eyes, accept the noise and interruptions but just ignore them. Stop thinking and let your mind clear of all distractions and worry.
  • Being open with people about what is going on with me. Taking care of me so I can take care of those around me.
  • I don’t manage stress well at all, I bottle it all up, If I’m angry with someone, I replay the kind of conversation I would like to have with them, over and over again, even down to their answers, but when I actually face that person I can’t say what I’ve practised either because I’m afraid to, or because I’ve said it already in my head and it’s an effort to re-say it! So I never get any kind of stress out – So I could do with some help!!I also worry about everything, I imagine the worst possible scenario; if someone’s really late I think they might have had a car crash, if my boyfriend (of 6 yrs) is feeling a bit low; I think he’s planning on leaving me… I am a serious worrier!
  • Talking always helps. I’ve only recently acquired someone I can trust to discuss stressful things with and it’s definitely improved the way I handle stress.
  • Lexpro helps and walking
  • generally i try to watch what i eat if i have an appointment the next day so that im nearly sure i wont be too bad the next morning. i try to take time out to relax and do something i enjoy to help me wind down to relieve the stress
  • Deep breathing when I feel the cramps beginning and also trying to remove myself from the stressful situation.
  • I’m trying to be more positive and trying to not overanalyze things, I’m trying to do the things that I have to do without overthinking.
  • Remember, we stress over things in our life that are beyond our control.
  • Plan ahead, and have a UCer’s “emergency kit” – out-of-the-ordinary things like road trips can be stressful (what if I have to go RIGHT NOW?) which makes it more likely that you will have an incident. Plan trips around bathrooms, and keep toilet paper and a spare change of clothes in the car, just in case.Breathing exercises are really helpful, if only to give yourself a few moments to really stop, clear your head, and slow your body down.Talk to someone you trust. Even if they can’t give advice or help, just voicing your troubles can take a big weight off your shoulders – and your gut!
  • Meditation if able
    Trying to spend some time outdoors
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff! Deep breathing, meditation doing things that I love to de-stress. Focusing on my diet to take control of this crap disease!
  • Exercise is the obvious one for me-when I’m not experiencing joint pain!!
  • win the lottery
  • I too would love to know how to manage stress!
  • I have never been good at managing stress but HOT YOGA has really helped (recently)
  • I have been told to meditate and exercisse. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.
  • Yoga really helps me.
    Talking to my friends (trusted ones) and acknowledging the terrible toilet humour of it all…laughter really does help loads.
  • I am trying to learn to be happy and in pain at the same time. Lowering my expectations and being more in the moment are some goals I have set to deal with stress.
  • I work out and can see a diffrence in my flares. They go away pretty fast if i work out
  • I don’t have this answer but I need it.
  • I use EFT – Emotional Freedom Tapping.
  • I’ve recently gone to a few therapy sessions just to candidly talk things through with someone completely impartial and I’ve found that helpful. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve also found a bit more peace in prayer early in the morning. It has helped me remain calm and focused throughout the day.
  • Now that I am feeling better…..excercise. maybe thats why UC’s find excercise helps. Food and alcohol are definite triggers. Getting sick, antibiotics, bad water!! There is a huge correlation there….I think your onto something Adam!!



adam colitis

thanks everyone for being a part of this, Adam

OK Guys and Gals,

This is going to conclude the Colitis and Stress Survey.  If you have not already read Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 of this survey, you can find those posts in the Survey Section of the website.

I myself was blown away reading through the suggestions and ideas for the final question here.  Not only are there some ideas that I can’t wait to try out myself, HOT YOGA, meditation, call your mom, to name a few!  Way cool UC’ers.

Just so you all know… I get a little bit anxious whenever I send out a link to a new survey.  Maybe we should call it stressed-out.  For me, ideas for these surveys usually pop into my head early in the morning, and then I think up some of the questions on my commute to work in San Francisco.  Come the afternoon, I start thinking more and more about what to come up with and then like with this survey, it was ready to go late Wednesday night.  Do I stress out about the surveys….YES!

I’ve got no clue if anyone from the newsletter wants to take these surveys, of course I hope so, and I think the responses are going to be useful to others who use the site currently and future visitors.  But I never know.  I do the usual walk-through with my wife Michaela, and for this particular idea she gave me the green light, but I definitely found myself waking up at 5:00 in the morning to check and see how many people had already responded.  And that’s when I was shocked.  After just an hour of the first newsletter group receiving the email, there were over 50 responses which was pretty amazing.

Stress is out there, finding useful ways to deal with it along with colitis are out there too.  I wish all of you the very best moving forward, and I’d recommend that you bookmark this page as a reference to go back to when stress makes it way into your life again.  I’m blown away by the responses you all shared.  Amazing.

Thanks everyone for participating,


Adam Scheuer


7 thoughts on “Colitis and Stress 151 Patient Survey Results – Part 4”

  1. Polly

    Hey All!

    I see that someone had asked about cabbage juice… In my online research recently, I stumbled across a few websites that recommend cabbage juice for UC (Here’s one of them: Most websites say to have 4 oz of cabbage juice 4 times a day for 7 to 10 days and you will see results. I have been doing this for 4 days now, and I’m already seeing results! I have been bleeding everyday for months, and after 3 days of cabbage juice, the bleeding has stopped! (Knock on wood) So I am going to continue with the cabbage juice. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really! You do need to buy a juicer, though. I tried using a blender first and that was a no-go. Juicers are pretty pricey, but I found one at Macy’s on a super-sale for $30. Not bad.
    So I have been juicing red cabbage (because it’s cheaper than other cabbages)… I soak it first for about 10 min. and then I juice it. It makes more juice if you soak it first.
    Drinking cabbage juice is NOT without it’s side effects, though. It makes you extra gassy, so be warned. And also, cabbage has sulphur in it (which is what heals the ulcers–awesome) but that sulfuric acid… when it comes out of your body, it’s HOT. So that’s a really weird feeling… passing gas that is hot. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you. :)
    All in all though, I am thrilled with the results from my few days of cabbage juice… and I’m going to keep doing it, despite the gassy side-effects.
    Best of luck! :)

  2. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me

  3. Michael Hurst

    Polly, the sulfur in cabbage juice could help because of its anti-microbial properties. The first anti-biotics were made from that as well as the anti-inflammatory drug Sulfasalazine which is also the basis for mesalamine drugs including Asacol, Apriso and Cananasa suppositories. Perhaps cabbage juice helps by killing or otherwise slowing the growth of other bacteria.

    For gassy side-effects try taking some digestive enzymes like beano with the cabbage juice. Juicing is good in general because you can get vitamins without the fiber which means you can absorb more of it and avoid the impact of insoluble fiber on your intestines, which can be pretty rough when you’ve got active diarrhea. To slow the diarrhea I mixed juiced fruit or vegetable juice with water that I also dissolved Benefiber into.

    As for healing ulcers in your intestines, I had great results by drinking body builder’s protein shakes which are also high in the amino acid L-Glutamine. Back when I was scheduled to have surgery, the colo-rectal surgeon said I should take protein supplements because my blood albumin levels were below the minimum threshold for a speedy recovery from surgery. However I ended up healing up enough that I cancelled surgery and treated myself using fecal transplants instead. Two years later I am still symptom-free with no medications or supplements and no restrictive diets.

    As for the original topic: managing stress. There are many possibilities that can be effective, however treating the Irritable Bowel Syndrome part of Ulcerative Colitis using prescription anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs was very effective for me. I credit the use of Bupropion and a low dose of Doxepin for helping the fecal transplants work for me by slowing diarrhea and muscle spasms which aided healing and balancing or the gut flora. The low dose of Doxepin, prescribed to me to help with sleep is also marketed as Silenor and helped counteract the effects of Prednisone. I later found that Valerian root extract seems to work just as well as Silenor, while also being inexpensive and widely available over-the-counter.

    1. Hi your message was so helpful, and I know it was 2 years ago, but I am wondering what you mean by ‘treated myself with fecal transplants’? I’m will to try anything at this point, gonna start with cabbage juice first.

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