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Ulcerative Colitis (cont.)

Prevention

You cannot prevent ulcerative colitis, because the cause is unknown.

Home Treatment

You can take steps at home to reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Over-the-counter medicines

Medicines to treat your condition: If you have only mild symptoms, antidiarrheal medicines may help. For disease in the rectum alone, you can try medicines given in a suppository, enema, or foam.

Medicines to avoid: In general, doctors recommend that you don't use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen). These medicines may cause flare-ups. But some people may be more likely to have flare-ups from NSAIDs than others. Talk to your doctor about whether to avoid these medicines.

Diet

A change in diet may help reduce symptoms.

For more information, see:

Click here to view an Actionset.Bowel Disease: Changing Your Diet.

Ostomy care

If you have had or are planning to have surgery that will create an ostomy, you may feel self-conscious or embarrassed. After a period of adjustment, most people are able to resume all of their usual activities. In fact, you may feel better than before surgery because you may no longer have painful symptoms. Support groups are available for people with ostomies.

Click here to view an Actionset.Bowel Disease: Caring for Your Ostomy

Getting support

Ulcerative colitis can affect every aspect of your life. So you may want to seek counseling or social support from family, friends, or clergy.

Helping a child

Children tend to have a harder time than adults in managing the disease. So your support is very important.

Children may feel self-conscious if they don't grow as fast as other children their age. Encourage your child to take medicine as prescribed. Offer your help with the treatment so that your child can feel better, start growing again, and lead a more normal life.

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