Ulcerative Colitis - Kids & Teens
How can I cope with ulcerative colitis?
'There will be good days, and there will be bad days. You can let
yourself do less on the bad days, because you know there will be a
good day again soon.'
- A.G., Greece
ulcerative colitis as a child can seem to affect nearly every aspect
of your life sometimes. You may face challenges around school,
sports and activities or telling your teachers, friends or other
adults. You may also have feelings such as fear, denial, relief,
guilt, anger or resentment. It usually helps to be able to talk
about your feelings with someone else, such as a friend or close
family member. A counsellor may also help if you are having trouble
dealing with your illness and its impact on your life as well as
friend asks how you are doing, my advice is to tell them how you
really feel. You will find them to be more supportive when they know
what's going on inside.
' - C.B., The Netherlands
groups are also very helpful in providing emotional support as well
as information about specific problems or issues you are facing.
They can also help put you in touch with other children with
ulcerative colitis. To find a support group in your area, get in
touch with EFCCA or visit their website
several practical things you can do on a daily basis to help you
cope as well. For example, if attacks of diarrhoea, pain or gas make
being in public places difficult, some practical advance planning
may help. Find out where the restrooms are at school, work, in
restaurants, shopping areas, theatres and on public transportation
ahead of time. You may find it helps to carry along extra
underclothing or toilet paper. When going farther away from home, be
sure to pack enough medicine, find out its generic (non-branded)
name in case you run out or lose it, and the location of clinics and
hospitals in the area you may be visiting. It is also a good idea to
check with your doctor to make sure you are well before you go.
many other people with ulcerative colitis face challenges similar to
these every day, and that you're not alone. Friends and family can
provide support for you, as well as support groups, who you can
As you go about
your daily life, try to stay involved in some of the same activities
that you enjoyed before your diagnosis. Some days, you may not feel
up to it. Other days, you may be able to achieve it easily, and you
will want to put more into it. Only you can decide what's right for
you. It will help to follow your doctor's instructions and stay
positive, and to play an active role in your care.
others about your illness, it may be helpful to give them
information or a list of resources where they can turn for answers
to their questions. You can decide how much information you'd like
to give someone else about IBD, and your illness. Some people may be
curious and can deal with lots of detailed information in order to
support you. For others, just some simple facts and practical points
might be better.
practical advice, see
Achieving more with IBD.
important thing you can do is learn all you can about your illness
and be involved in your care. Working with your doctor to make
decisions and address your concerns will give you back a feeling of
control. It is most helpful if you talk openly and honestly about
any concerns you may have, and ask questions along the way if there
is something you don't understand or if an answer is unclear. For
more information about working with your healthcare team in the
management of your disease, see
Your IBD Consultation.
Here are some
things you can do to play an active role in the management of your
in the proactive management of your own health every day
and how to take care of your general health
management plan and take your medication
questions if you are concerned, and seek help if a problem