Fighting ulcerative colitis flares
Medication is key
Unfortunately, living with ulcerative colitis (UC) means that you will experience flares from time to time. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything you can do to reduce the impact flares have on your life.
An important way of managing UC is to seek effective treatment. And taking the medication as directed by your doctor will give you a chance of controlling your symptoms.
Here are tips to help you stay on track with your treatment:
- Create a schedule: Taking your medication should be a part of your daily routine. Try to take medications at the same times each day so that it becomes automatic for you.
- Check your supply: Be sure your prescription is up to date and that you have enough medication on hand.
- Plan ahead: If you are going to travel, be sure to take a copy of your prescription with you in case you need to refill your medication during the trip.
- Reminders can help: There are many tools available to help you remember to take your medication. Utilize diaries, smartphone apps, and other tools to remind you when it's time to take your medicine.
- Chart your progress: Keep track of when you take your medication as well as any symptoms you experience so you can share your progress with your doctor.
Work closely with your doctor
Speak with your doctor to create a treatment plan that's right for you. If you're not satisfied with your current treatment, be sure to ask your doctor about other options.
To get the most out of your meeting, prepare a list of questions or topics that you want to discuss. The following are examples of things you can bring up during your visit:
- Discuss your symptoms. Ask what might be causing your symptoms and when you can expect them to go away.
- Track your diet. In the days leading up to your doctor visit, record what you eat and drink. Make a note of how it affects you. Then bring this food diary with you to help your doctor figure out what may be causing some of your symptoms.
- Provide a list of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements. Your doctor will need to know about these before you begin treatment.
- Make plans to follow up. Ask your doctor how he or she will monitor your progress, and when you should plan to come in for another visit.
Take notes during your visit. Even when you're engaged in a talk with your doctor, it's difficult to remember everything your doctor said after leaving the office. Bring a pen and paper to your visit and take a moment to write down what your doctor is saying.