How to Treat Colitis and Prevent Flare-Ups is written by someone who has experienced the painfulness of this disease that doesn’t just touch your stomach but your life too. That someone is me.
In the summer of 2015′, I was diagnosed with colitis. Of course, I am quite certain that I had it this entire time because anytime I was stressed, ate a piece of bread, etc. I would lay in bed, sometimes for days at a time, curled up in pain.
The only reason I happened upon this discovery, is because my doctor made an error in judgment and prescribed me an intense antibiotic known as Flagyl. I spent 24 hours with intense diarrhea and abdominal cramps. The pain was so excruciating, I could barely make it to my doctor’s appointment to tell her what went wrong.
After that, I’m not going to lie, I was in a bit of denial. I kept thinking that this flare-up was merely caused by the medication. The truth was, I had been having intense stomach cramps for quite some time. I just assumed because I didn’t have the diarrhea symptom usually, that I was just stressed or ate something bad.
It took me months to finally acknowledge and accept that I had colitis. Finally, after a few days of being doubled over in pain, after yet another flare-up, I was crying and I told my mom that I knew I had colitis. She kept insisting that’s what I had, after speaking with my doctor, but I kept shaking my head no.
I was so sick of being in excruciating pain, that I made up my mind to do something about it that very day. I had to make some extreme dietary changes but I’m glad I did because I haven’t had a flare-up in a long time. Read on to find out what I did.
How to Treat Colitis and Prevent Flare-Ups
The first thing I did was to give up being in denial about what was wrong with me. I’ve had some pretty life-threatening illnesses throughout my life so the thought of one more thing, was almost more than I could bear.
The next thing I did was to change my diet. I was already a vegan at this point but I ate a lot of organic, vegan frozen dinners.
Most of which had wheat in them. I decided that I was going to go as grain-free as possible but if I got myself in a fix, I’d allow myself to have gluten-free. Those situations are when I order vegan pizza, I now have to order gluten-free, vegan pizza.
Just one little drop of wheat or the gluten in wheat can make my stomach flare up. It begins with my belly bloating up and protruding and ends with me doubled over in pain, my stomach tied in knots.
If you have colitis, I highly recommend you try The Mermaid Detox Diet, to start weaning yourself off of processed foods and wheat. One of the reasons I made this specialty diet is because of my finicky stomach. I know that I started to feel much better immediately.
I also recommend adding some type of calming fitness. I’d go with yoga. Reason being: Stress can cause flare-ups. Some of my worst flare-ups were during time of major upheaval in my life. When I was moving or starting a new job.
Get rid of all aspirin from your medicine cabinet. Aspirin is like the dairy and eggs of the medicinal world. It seems like it’s in nearly everything! Opt for Tylenol instead or look for acetaminophen on the back of the label. Aspirin causes flare-ups!
You’ll also want to detox. A lot. Back up in your digestive tract can lead to a really bad flare up, so keep the inside of your body clean too. You can do that by juicing or a body cleanse.
Also, I have found meditation and clearing my chakras helps a lot. It keeps me calm and balanced. This keeps the stress down, which prevents flare-ups.
What to Do If You Have a Colitis Flare Up
It’s so hard to think straight if you’re in that much pain but there are a few things you can do to help get you through it. In fact, I suggest having an action plan ready for flare-ups!
Lie on your stomach. I know this sounds counterintuitive but lying on your stomach helps with the pain. Sometimes, I slip my heat pad under my stomach in that position. It doesn’t make everything better but it does help.
Take medicine to help alleviate the symptoms of your colitis flare up. This one might seem obvious but when you’re in pain, sometimes it’s hard to focus. Take something that doesn’t have aspirin in it, if you can. The aspirin might make it worse.
Drink some ginger tea for stomach aches. This actually really works! I’m a big believer in tea and it’s healing herbal powers. The last time this happened to me, I took only one cup and it soothed my sour stomach. In a pinch, you can also eat small slivers of ginger or drink ginger ale.
Eat some saltine crackers. I don’t like this one because it’s hard to find gluten-free crackers, but it really does help some.
While you’re in the middle of the flare-up, drink probiotics. This aides with gut health overall but will help relieve symptoms almost immediately.
Finally, apply either a heat pad or an ice pad to your stomach. Try both, just to see which one helps the most in that moment. In addition to that, I have found rubbing peppermint essential oil on your belly helps soothe and calm your tummy.
Don’t be afraid to go to your doctor or the hospital if you need to. I know, I use that option as a last resort but always keep it as an open option. If you have colitis or think you may have colitis, seek medical help. There may be something your doctor can do for you!