Preventing a ‘Flare-up’ of Ulcerative Colitis
Listed below are a few points to help you prevent a flare-up of your disease. Some flare-ups are unavoidable, but if advice is followed they will occur less often.
1. Take medications as directed by the doctor or IBD nurse. Do not stop because you feel well. The doctor will advise you when it is safe to stop.
2. Seek prompt treatment or advice as soon as symptoms begin in order to prevent a more severe relapse.
• Always ensure that you have an adequate supply of medications, particularly when you are travelling away from home.
• Keeping a small stock of enemas may be useful so that treatment can commence as soon as symptoms such as blood & mucus recur. 5-ASA enemas, such as Pentasa or Asacol, are better than steroid enemas (providing you are not allergic to mesalazine). These will only be effective for colitis affecting the left colon; oral steroids may be necessary for more extensive colitis but should only be taken on instruction from the doctor.
3. Avoid situations which you know trigger attacks, such as:
4. Avoid constipation. Flare-ups of left-sided colitis are frequently triggered by proximal constipation.
5. Gastrointestinal infections may trigger a flare-up and you should
therefore avoid situations, which may lead to this such as:
6. Avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as, Volterol, Brufen, and Naproxen, as these have been associated with flare-ups of the disease. If you need to take painkillers, try paracetamol or Co-proxamol instead.
7. Keep yourself fit. Ensure that a healthy, balanced diet is taken, with vitamin and mineral supplements is necessary. Take regular exercise in order to build up bone strength, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
8. Ensure that you get adequate rest and sleep. This does not mean no
to partying, but it is important to balance late nights with several