Now through January when
you post to THE WALL,
you'll be entered for a
chance to win an
iPod touch®!

Add your post

See Terms of Use for contest rules and more details.

Helping Prevent IBD Flares

You can’t completely prevent flare-ups of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. But you may be able to reduce the number or severity of flares and lengthen the time spent in remission by adopting some healthy habits.

  • Take all IBD medications regularly, as directed by your doctor.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. There is no universal diet for all people with IBD, because each person will have unique needs. Nevertheless, proper nutrition is an essential part of staying healthy and minimizing the effects of the diseases.

Everyone with IBD will benefit from a diet that provides the recommended number of calories and contains essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. At the same time, you should avoid foods that trigger symptoms. Because dietary issues differ from person to person, you may want to get individualized help and instruction from a registered dietitian.

  • Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can impair the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, consider taking a multi-vitamin or mineral supplement. As always, be sure you consult your doctor about which are recommended (and safe) for you to take.
  • A regular exercise routine can improve overall health, and may be particularly beneficial for people with IBD. Engaging in regular physical activity can reduce stress and maintain and improve bone strength. Some research has also shown that it relieves depression and boosts the body’s immune system response.
  • If having IBD limits the amount and intensity of exercise you can undertake, keep in mind that even low-intensity activities, like taking a 30-minute walk three times a week, can produce results. Talk to your doctor to determine an exercise program that works for you. If your symptoms make mobility difficult, find ways to be active at home.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking is harmful for many reasons, and it can worsen symptoms of IBD. Quitting smoking has been suspected of triggering the onset of ulcerative colitis or a flare in certain cases. However, with the multiple choices in medications, continued smoking is not usually recommended. The benefits of quitting smoking likely outweigh any potential colitis-related risks.
  • Stress is a common trigger for symptom flare-ups. Of course, avoiding all stress is impossible. In fact, focusing too heavily on stress can cause an anxiety response, which has a tendency to aggravate symptoms, and cause even more stress.
  • Stress reduction techniques can help you to stay calm, maintain perspective, and break this anxiety cycle. There are numerous stress-management techniques, and no one method has been proven to be more effective than another for everyone. Each person needs to find their own healthy balance. Try an approach that appeals to you; if that doesn’t work, don’t despair. Try another.

Stress reduction techniques

  • Biofeedback
  • Relaxation and breathing exercises
  • Practicing yoga or tai chi
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Cognitive brhavioral therapy
  • Meditation
  • Books,recordings,guided image,etc.