Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ulcerative Colitis Stress

While it is common knowledge to those with ulcerative colitis (UC) that there is no known cause for the chronic disease, it is widely believed that stress is likely to make the illness significantly worse. UC is unique in the sense that the disease will actually increase stress levels, thus creating a vicious cycle. By decreasing your stress levels, it may be possible to experience fewer flare-ups, less frequent bathroom trips and an overall better well-being.


Yoga is an ancient system that has centuries of proving cleansing practices. This can be extremely helpful for reducing stress caused by ulcerative colitis.

Remove the Body's Toxins: The practice of yoga stretches the muscles and organs within the body. Stretching helps to support the flow of blood to all areas of the body. By opening up the passageways through stretching, it allows toxins stored within the "hidden crevices" to flow out of the system.

Internal Body Massage: As mentioned above, the practice of stretching with yoga is not just muscular; it also affects the vital organs of the body. The overall stretching acts as a massage on internal organs, such as the prostate and intestines. Remember, there is more than 20 feet of organs crammed into a small place below your stomach, it is only natural that it needs to be worked on a daily basis.

Synchronize the Body: The practice of yoga has more than just a physical affect on the body. That is only half of the goal of yoga. Yoga strives to unite the mind, the body and the spirit. If harmony can be reached with these three items, stress levels should begin to decrease.


In the same realm as yoga, the art of meditation is a popular option to cope with ulcerative colitis stress. For decades, studies have demonstrated that the mind has the greatest impact on the human body. Your mind can even cause the body to experience physical pain when there is nothing physically wrong with you. Since UC places great stress on the minds of those living with the illness, finding a harmonious state of mind is paramount to overcome intense flare-ups.

Some turn to different spiritual paths (not religious) to learn popular meditative techniques. The Buddhist teachings offer many meditation techniques that have provided UC sufferers with relief, sometimes even permanent.


Regardless of your condition, doctors will tell you that any form of exercise is beneficial to both the physical and mental body. Exercise produces stress-reducing endorphins that have a mentally soothing effect on the physical body. Now, many with UC worry about being able to properly exercise while flaring up (mainly because of such frequent bathroom trips), but there are still options for those uncomfortable to leave the house.

Simple exercises that you learned in gym classes decades ago are sufficient enough to stimulate the body. You could do sit-ups, push-ups, run in place, and, if you have the monetary means, it couldn't hurt to purchase some equipment (a treadmill or elliptical in particular).

Exercise is beneficial because it increases your ability to consume oxygen and improves heart and lung functions. For those suffering from extreme cases of UC, blood loss can become a serious problem. Finding exercises that contribute to cardiac output is extremely beneficial.


UC is an illness that may significantly alter your social life. That does not mean that you have to lose friends and family over it. Altering your social life is different from alienating it. Not being able to go out, party or even participate in clubs can be very crippling and cause a great deal of stress. One of the most important steps in overcoming this is to be open and honest with your friends about your disease. If they are truly your friends, they will make adjustments for you.

There are always options for spending time together with friends, whether this is hanging out in one's house instead of a bar or choosing a restaurant where you are comfortable with the bathroom. Good friends and family will understand and if you simply cannot make an event, your friends will now know that you aren't avoiding them and instead dealing with a medical problem.


Many UC patients face the challenge of being successful and competitive in the job market. You may become overly stressed for many job functions that others would not think twice about. Long meetings, conference calls or even traveling for work may cause you more stress than the actual work you perform. It is important that every person has an equal opportunity to succeed in life, and it would not be fair to be limited by your disease. Be open with your manager, your HR department and, if you are comfortable, even your coworkers. You don't have to be overly descriptive if you are embarrassed; simply state that you have a chronic stomach problem.

Companies legally cannot discriminate against a physical disability, so most will be very understanding of your situation. Try to discuss big meetings or trips beforehand with your manager to ensure that you can succeed at work while also providing your business partners with the information they need.

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