Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What To Do About Ulcerative Colitis Pain

Hi everyone! You can probably tell from my lack of posts that I have been feeling pretty well lately. Still in remission! (Yeah!) I'm still not taking any medications and I am really hoping to make it one year symptom and medication free, so that will be in July...it's getting closer.

I thought I would write today and share some of the things I would do during flare-ups to help with the abdominal/stomach pain. Pain hurts.If you have other things you do that help, please share them in the comments! 

  • When I wasn't in the bathroom, but was having cramping from the colitis, I would do a yoga move called child's pose.  You can do it with your hands straight in front of you, or behind you like in this picture.  I would just stay in that position for as long as I was in pain and it seemed to help. 

  • When I was in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, I had a stool that I used.  It was just a children's stool (about a foot high), and I would place my feet on it.  This elevated my knees and made...business...easier and less painful.  I actually learned this trick from a nurse that recommended doing this after having my first baby. 
  • Heat always helped me with the pain.  Around here, we have these bags you can microwave, we call them "Rice Buddies".  Anyway, I would heat one up and rest it on my lower stomach.  This was probably the most effective thing I did do to help my pain.  You can find instructions on making your own rice buddy here.  Or this site has some really simple instructions on making one from a sock!  But, really any heating instrument -- a pad, a hot water bottle--anything that applies heat would work. 
  • This might sound weird after my last suggestion, but don't let yourself get too hot.  My pain was always intensified when I was overheated.  If you are out in the sun when you are having pain, get inside or get in the shade.  Try to stay cool!  Your body can't cope with pain as well if it is also trying to cool itself down. 
  • Breathe deeply and listen to relaxing music.  Try to relax as much as possible to let the cramping relax. 
  • Sometimes sipping water can help. 
  • In addition to the child's pose, sometimes I would lie on my back with my knees up and my legs in and then just rock from the hips from side to side. 
So, those are my suggestions.  These are all things that helped me.  They didn't always work, but a lot of times they helped and while they may not have gotten rid of the pain completely, they did ease the pain.  Again, if you have other ways of dealing with the colitis pain, please let me know in the comments!