images/macc_logo.gif(87860 bytes) images/logo_right_space.gif (28465 bytes)


Printer friendly

Ulcerative Colitis

Treatment plan for ulcerative colitis

How can I make the most of my treatment?

Once you have your ulcerative colitis under control, it is important to keep it under control and stop symptoms from coming back. Although the causes of a relapse (return of symptoms) are unknown, there are some things you can do to help prevent it.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Each person is different when it comes to diet and ulcerative colitis. Most importantly, follow a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of nutrients and vitamins. Diet does not influence inflammation in the colon in people with ulcerative colitis.

  • You may have to adapt your diet after surgery by eating smaller and more frequent meals, and avoiding drinking large amounts of fluids.

  • Stick with your treatment plan, even if you start feeling better or if you get discouraged. Talk to your doctor before making any changes on your own, and remember that treatment may take time to work so don't give up too soon.

  • Another common mistake people make is to stop treatment on their own once their symptoms go away. Don't make this mistake, as you need to keep taking your medicine to help keep your symptoms from coming back. If you are unsure, check with your doctor.

  • Read the information leaflets to understand how your treatment works and possible side effects to watch out for.

  • Remember to take your medicine every day for best results. Try setting the alarm or asking a friend to telephone you as a reminder.

  • If something changes in your life, such as work, sport, when you have meals, etc., which affects your ability to take your medicine, discuss this with your doctor so any necessary adjustments in your treatment schedule or medication can be made. (For example, if you find you have difficulty swallowing tablets, ask about other formulations of your medication.)

  • Get regular exercise: Most adults need 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. This includes walking, swimming or bicycling. Find something that you enjoy and use it to help relieve stress as well.

  • Get plenty of rest.

  • Drink lots of fluids throughout the day. The usual recommendation is 8 glasses a day.

  • If you have other health conditions, it is generally okay to take other medicines at the same time as your IBD medication.

  • However, use care with some over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or COX-2 inhibitors. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or a pharmacist first.

  • Develop a support system with family, friends and other people with IBD to help ensure that you have someone to turn to when you need motivation and support.

  • Stay positive. Although stress does not cause ulcerative colitis, it can affect your symptoms. If you are feeling an emotional strain, consider finding support or even asking to see a counsellor for emotional support to help you cope.

  • If you are planning to travel, consider asking your doctor for a letter outlining your medical condition, in case you need to get medical attention in another city or country. You might also consider having your doctor write down a brief plan for what to do if symptoms arise. Also, be sure to bring your doctor's contact information with you, and research ahead to find out who to contact or where to go if you have any medical needs while you are travelling. Helpful travel information for some countries is available at the EFCCA website (

  • Another travel tip: If you are travelling to an area where enteric infections are common, you may want to discuss with your doctor the possibility of using antibiotic prophylaxis.

  • If you are using complementary treatments (T'ai Chi, acupuncture, supplements), do not stop your ulcerative colitis medication as these are not a substitute. Be sure to tell your healthcare professional about any complementary treatments you are using.

Be cautious about misleading information and 'miracle cures' that can lead you astray and raise false hopes. Ulcerative colitis can be managed well with the correct medication and can be eliminated with surgery. If you find alternative 'miracle cures' that might be of interest to you, then check with your healthcare professiona


 Home    About MACC    Disclaimer    Privacy Policy   Glossary    FAQs    Acknowledgements    Site Map