Inflammatory bowel disease - discharge; Ulcerative proctitis - discharge; Colitis - discharge
You were in the hospital to treat ulcerative colitis. This is a swelling (inflammation) of the inner lining of your colon and rectum (also called your large intestine). This article tells you how to take care of yourself when you return home.
You were in the hospital because you have ulcerative colitis. This is a swelling of the inner lining of your colon and rectum (also called your large intestine). It damages the lining, causing it to bleed or ooze mucus or pus.
You probably received fluids through an intravenous (IV) tube in your vein. You may have received a blood transfusion, nutrition through a feeding tube or IV, and medicines to help stop diarrhea. You may have been given medicines to reduce swelling, prevent or fight infection, or help your immune system.
You may have undergone a colonoscopy. You also may have had surgery. If so, you may have had either an ileostomy or colon resection (colectomy).
Most people will have long breaks between flare-ups of their ulcerative colitis if they take their prescribed medicines.
When you first go home, you will need to drink only liquids or eat different foods from what you normally eat. Ask your health care provider when you can start your regular diet. You should eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. It is important that you get enough calories, protein, and nutrients from a variety of food groups.
Certain foods and drinks can make your symptoms worse. These foods may cause problems for you all the time or only during a flare-up. Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse.
Eat smaller meals, and eat more often. Drink plenty of liquids.
Ask your provider about extra vitamins and minerals you may need, including:
Talk with a dietitian, especially if you lose weight or your diet becomes very limited.
You may feel worried about having a bowel accident, embarrassed, or even feel sad or depressed. Other stressful events in your life, such as moving, job loss, or the loss of a loved one, can cause problems with your digestion.
These tips may help you manage your ulcerative colitis:
Your provider may give you some medicines to help relieve your symptoms. Based on how severe your ulcerative colitis is and how you respond to treatment, you may need to take one or more of these medicines:
There are many types of drugs your provider may use to prevent or treat attacks of your ulcerative colitis.
Your ongoing care will be based on your needs. Your provider will tell you when to return for an exam of the inside of your rectum and colon through a flexible tube (sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy).
Contact your provider if you have:
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Feuerstein JD, Isaacs KL, Schneider Y, Siddique SM, Falck-Ytter Y, Singh S; AGA Institute Clinical Guidelines Committee. AGA Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management of Moderate to Severe Ulcerative Colitis. Gastroenterology. 2020;158(5):1450-1461. PMID: 31945371 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31945371/.
Rezapour M, Avalos D, Damas OM. Inflammatory bowel disease. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, Heidelbaugh JJ, Lee EM, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2023. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier 2023:236-243.
Rojas-Khalil Y, Galadiuk S. The management of chronic ulcerative colitis. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:173-180.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/31/2022
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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