My ulcerative colitis pre-flare symptoms usually, but not always, come on gradually. I’m lucky to have the ulcerative colitis pre-flare symptoms as they alert me to what I need to do next. The time between the ulcerative colitis pre-flare symptom and the time the flare hits could be as little as an hour to a few hours. It’s almost never the same. That’s why I have to act quickly.
One ulcerative colitis pre-flare symptom that occurs when I know I’m about to have a flare is that I start feeling very, very fatigued. Colitis can bring on a very heavy exhaustion unlike anything else and when I start feeling this, I know a flare is on its way. Another noticible symptom is cramping. I’ll start having these abdominal cramps that start out as irritating and then work their way up to painful. And a sure-fire sign I’m going to flare is a frequent and urgent need to use the bathroom. I’ll have incredible urges to use the bathroom and when I do, I’ll often start to find blood and/or mucus in the stool.
When these pre-flare symptoms occur I need to do a few things to prepare. I also do a few things to try to prevent the flare.
Preventing a Flare-Up
If I’m away from home, I try to get home as soon as possible as I know I’ll be more comfortable there. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the bathroom and I’ll be uncomfortable. It’s important for me to reduce my stress and anxiety as they only make the flares worse. I’ll also start drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated. This is very, very important.
If I have a suspicion that a flare-up is going to happen, there are a few preventive measures that I take. They usually work fairly well, but sometimes they just aren’t enough to stop the flare. I make sure that I’ve taken my ulcerative colitis medications. Between flares it is sometimes tempting to stop the medications as I’m feeling almost normal, but I quickly learn this isn’t a good idea.
I always get out of any stressful situations, if I am in one. I make sure I’m home and relaxed and comfortable. I might lay on the couch and cozy up with a blanket and turn on a movie. Anything that gets my mind of anything stressful is very important in prevention.
Lastly, I make sure to only eat basic bland foods that I know will never affect my colitis. I don’t take any chances with foods.