Living with Ulcerative Colitis

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Ulcerative colitis can be a difficult diagnosis to live with and there may be times when you struggle to cope. The good news is that there are many strategies which may be helpful in overcoming a lot of the challenges you might face.


Here are some ways to cope with the disease. Having attacks such as diarrhea or stomachache may make it difficult to function in public places. It simply requires being practical and planning ahead.

  • Find out where the toilets are in restaurants, shopping centers, movie theaters and any public transportation you may use. You will feel more at ease knowing where the restrooms are wherever you go.
  • Carry your own underclothing, toilet paper and wet wipes when travelling outside your house. Not every toilet you go to has toilet paper, having your own ensures you are ready for anything. It is also a good idea to have an extra pair of bottoms (pants or shorts), just in case you might need them.
  • Before traveling long distances or going abroad, speak to your doctor. This is to make sure you have enough medication for the time you are away. You should also know the name of the medication you use in the country you are visiting in case you find yourself running out.
  • Find a support group around your area. Knowing others are going through the same or similar experience can bring you a lot of comfort. You are not alone, and there are people who can support you and give you even more tips.

Having this condition does not mean you should be confined to your house and not participate in activities that make you happy. It simply means you will have to stay on your medication (as prescribed) and make some practical adjustments in your life.

Contact your doctor if you have any concerns about your symptoms or medication. 


Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference: Ordás I, Eckmann L, Talamini M, Baumgart DC, Sandborn WJ. Ulcerative colitis. Lancet. 2012 Nov 3;380(9853):1606-19

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