10 Steps To A Successful Life With IBD



The Colitis Coach

1. Achieve remission.

Your primary goal. Active inflammation can impact on related medical conditions, relationships, work, study, diet, fitness, sleep, motivation and mental health.

2. Maintain remission.

Once in remission, focus on reducing the risk of flares. The longer you remain symptom-free, the greater your likelihood of long term success.

3. Get educated on your condition.

You should always seek advice regarding diagnosis and treatment from medical professionals. But learning to spot the early signs of a flare, or onset of related conditions, will give you a huge advantage. Educate yourself on the day-to-day management of symptoms, how your condition will impact on other areas of you life, and how to optimise your health and fitness.

4. Build a good relationship with your IBD medical team.

Early intervention is vital for inflammatory illness. Maintain open lines of communication with a trusted team of specialists, dieticians and nurses.

5. Take your meds.

Medication and treatments options are steadily improving for IBD patients. A gastroenterology specialist recently predicted in 10 years more than 90% of patients will have complete disease control, and less than 10% will require surgery.

Be skeptical with anyone who advises you to stop medication and offers to fix your colitis “naturally”.

6. Get stronger physically and mentally.

Chronic illness can take it’s toll on your body and your mental health. A structured, sensible exercise program can boost your energy, improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen and mobilise joints, and help maintain a healthy body fat percentage. Exercise has been scientifically proven to improve your mood, lower stress levels and reduce anxiety.

7. Take responsibility for your own healthy habits.

Medical professionals do an amazing job but their time and resources are limited. It’s your body, your illness and your life. Once you assume responsibility for building a happy, successful future, you’ll make better choices to make it a reality.

8. Be honest.

With yourself, your specialists, your partner, family, friends and colleagues. Be open about how you’re feeling. Physically and emotionally. A support group you can rely on is invaluable when times are tough.

9. Say yes to saying no.

Even if it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient. There are times when you must put your health and welfare first. If people care about you, they’ll understand.

10. Think long term.

Until there’s a cure you’re going to be living with IBD for a very long time. Buckle in. Be patient.

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