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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the colon (large intestine). Inflammation and ulcers form on the inner lining of your colon. Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. You may have times when signs and symptoms will decrease or disappear (remission). You will need to continue treatment in times of remission.
Call, or have someone call, your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You have sudden trouble breathing.
- You have a fast heart rate, fast breathing, or are too dizzy to stand up.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have severe abdominal pain.
- Your vomit has blood in it or looks like coffee grounds.
- You see bright red blood in your bowel movement.
Call your doctor if:
- Your symptoms return.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to help decrease inflammation or control your immune system.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Do not take NSAID medicines , including aspirin and ibuprofen. NSAIDs can cause flare-ups.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods to keep your colon healthy. Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Do not eat foods that make your symptoms worse. Your healthcare provider may give you vitamins or minerals to improve your nutrition if you have severe ulcerative colitis.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. For most people, water, juice, and milk are good choices. Do not drink alcohol. This can make your symptoms worse.
- Exercise regularly. Ask about the best exercise plan for you. Any activity is better than none. Even 10 minutes a few times a day would help prevent constipation and help keep your colon healthy.
- Manage stress. Stress may slow healing and cause illness. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing.
Follow up with your doctor as directed:
Keep a written record of your bowel movements. Include the color, form, and if they were bloody. Bring the record to your follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.