AVOID SETTLING. HERE ARE 3 WAYS TO TAKE CONTROL.
Don’t just accept a “new reality.”
There’s no question that ulcerative colitis (UC) has its challenges, but it’s important not to become discouraged. With preparation, education, and communication with your doctor, you can do more than just endure the ups and downs of UC; you can live your life.
People with ulcerative colitis are suffering from symptoms that may impact their everyday life choices. Unfortunately, some people living with UC just accept a reduced quality of life, adjusting to a “new reality” for themselves.
Did you know? 64% (n=194/301) of patients in the UC Narrative survey feel like UC controls their life rather than them controlling their disease.*
*Based on the U.S. portion of the 2017 UC Narrative survey, created by Pfizer in collaboration with patients, providers, and patient organizations. Data on file.
This feeling of having to “power through” leads some people living with this disease to alter their life choices. With some UC patients even sharing that they feel they would be a more successful person if they didn’t have UC.
While there’s no way to know for sure, it’s important to not allow that belief to keep you from making the best of your situation. Keep sight of the goals you would like to accomplish in life. Don’t feel like you need to accept a “new reality” for yourself – your UC doesn’t have to define you.
WE’VE COMPILED SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU EVALUATE YOUR SITUATION AND YOUR OPTIONS:
Remember, be honest with yourself, your gastroenterologist, and your entire healthcare team.
To help you do just that…
- Track your symptoms as well as your thoughts and feelings. Especially make note of the circumstances when you might not be feeling great. It can help you have a more comprehensive view of how things are going and of what you and your doctor may need to address.
- Share with your doctor and other people in your life! Don’t hold back, even if it’s embarrassing or awkward. This will help them get the big picture and better understand why you’re feeling how you’re feeling.
- Become as informed as possible. Learn all you can to be sure you’re getting the information that’s right for you. Check out these tips to get the most out of your conversation with your doctor.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your GI and their healthcare team are there to help make sure you understand what’s happening with your condition. It’s important to understand that just because you sometimes feel okay, that doesn’t mean that your UC is fully controlled.
Think of the day-to-day things that you enjoy in life. Think of the things you wish you could do again. Start there and work with your doctor to set goals that are right for you.
The key is to set goals – goals that are specific to you, your UC, and your disease management. When goal setting with your gastroenterologist, make sure to keep track of your achievements and also consider tracking your overall well-being, which could include diet, exercise or stress. Make sure to stick with it and then reevaluate your success.
Don’t feel like you have to do any of this alone. Talk to your doctor about setting realistic goals, let them know how UC is impacting your life, and provide feedback. You are your best advocate and staying in control of your UC requires keeping track of your symptoms in between your doctor appointments. Make sure to keep your doctor and your healthcare team informed about what is and what isn’t working for you.