I have tried many different methods to cope with my ulcerative colitis flare-ups. When I was still trying out different medication regimens, I could not take any other medications to help me get through a flare-up. Happily, I have finally found a medication regimen that works for me. I still vividly remember the days when I would try anything for a little relief.
One thing that seemed to help lessen the cramps during a flare-up was for me to drink a mug of very warm water with a little lemon juice. I have heard that this helps to relieve bloating so I guess that is why it helps during an ulcerative colitis flare-up. The warm water helps too, I guess. I used this remedy many times in the past. It is one of my favorite remedies.
Another thing that I have done is to eat a slice of white bread. Since I am not usually hungry during a flare-up, I do not eat. Since I do not eat, I get nauseated. A single slice of white bread helps to alleviate the nausea. This also helps to relieve cramps. It seems that my cramps are not as bad when I have food in my stomach. I am not sure why but, that is just how it is for me.
When I am having a flare-up, I try to exercise some. Now, I know that exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when you feel bad. I am not talking about a full out aerobic or weight training program. I am talking about gentle exercise. I usually walk or do some stretching exercises on my exercise ball. This serves a few different purposes.
Exercise and stretching helps to tone the muscles. This helps because it will actually relax your stomach muscles some. That will provide a measure of relief. Be sure to stay away from things like crunches and sit ups that will make you actually work out the abdominal muscles.
Light exercise helps to fight the fatigue associated with a flare-up. Exercise increases your heart rate and speeds up your metabolism. Because it does this, you will have more energy.
Exercise will make you want to eat and drink. This is good during a flare up because even though you are constantly in the bathroom, you still have to eat and drink. Dehydration only makes the symptoms of ulcerative colitis worse. You can also end up in the hospital if you are dehydrated.
If you cannot seem to stay out of the bathroom, take an exercise ball in there with you. I have done this many times. I would simply do what I could on the exercise ball in between having to use the bathroom.
When most people have diarrhea and cramps, they want to curl up in a ball and tense up. Do not do this. That will only make things worse. It is far better to stretch your stomach muscles out and stay relaxed. This is hard to do but, trust me, it does help a lot.
I use breathing techniques to help me cope with a flare-up. These breathing exercises make me relax and focus on something other than the intense pain. Use the breathing techniques that help women in labor. Hey, if they can help a woman through contractions and child birth, they can help anyone get through a flare up!
Meditation works too. Meditation forces me to focus on something other than the pain. For this to be truly effective, you have to practice meditating when you are not in the middle of a flare-up so you can train your mind to strictly focus on the meditation.
Another small thing that you can do is to apply pressure to your forehead right above your nose. This is a pressure point that will help to lessen the pain of cramps and help to give you a different place on your body to concentrate on. If someone is home with you during a flare-up, you can ask them to apply the pressure there and you can strictly focus on the pressure.
I sincerely hope that the things that I have learned through my years of struggle can help someone to get through the struggles of ulcerative colitis. Just remember that not every suggestion will work for everyone. You just have to try different coping methods until you find one that works for you!