Skip to content

    Ulcerative Colitis Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Ulcerative Colitis: Avoiding the Temptations of College Life

    By
    WebMD Feature

    If college is the first time that you're living away from home, it's probably also the first time you're completely in charge of managing your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). To keep your ulcerative colitis symptoms at bay, you'll want to live healthily, which can sometimes be at odds with the "typical college lifestyle."

    Making sure that you're eating well and not getting stressed out will help you stay healthy and get the most of your college experience. Here's how to put that plan into practice.

    Recommended Related to Ulcerative Colitis

    7 Tips for Getting Out With UC

    "What will my food options be? What if we’re stuck on the tarmac and my symptoms flare? How long will it take me to find a restroom after I land?" These were just some of the questions that fueled Heather Weiss’s anxiety the first time she traveled after her doctor told her she has ulcerative colitis. Like many people who have UC, Weiss has successfully taken on the healthy habits needed to manage her condition. But it’s harder when you’re away from home.   “The main issues with ulcerative colitis...

    Read the 7 Tips for Getting Out With UC article > >

    Take Control of Your UC

    Doing what it takes to keep control of your ulcerative colitis may be the biggest factor in adjusting well to college life.

    "We're really big on encouraging students to do things as normal as possible," says Ellen Zimmermann, MD, a gastroenterologist who started a support group for students with IBD at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The group has been a model for IBD groups at other colleges. "We should be able to work out a system where they can accomplish the same things as their peers.”

    The process of doing that may just be a little bit different for those with UC, says Zimmerman, who is also director of the Gastroenterology Specialty Clinics at the UM hospital. She suggests that students with UC get plenty of rest, keep regular hours, take their medications as prescribed, and stay hydrated throughout the day.

    She also recommends that they explore dietary issues to decide what works for them and what doesn't – and then stick to that. "They should eat regular meals, keep their nutrition up, and really stay in tune with their own dietary triggers for their disease," she says.

    "We encourage students to take control of the disease," she tells WebMD. "Being proactive really helps, so that they don't get into that cycle where there's some dietary indiscretion that causes more symptoms, and then they get more dehydrated and less capable of being a successful student."

    Eating Well + Knowing Your Triggers = More Control

    Laura Nedbal was 15 years old when she was diagnosed with UC. Now a 21-year-old student at Columbia College Chicago, she says she does everything in her power to stay well.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    basket of vegetables
    Article
    IBD Overview Slideshow
    Slideshow
     
    Ulcerative Colitis Managing Flares
    Slideshow
    what is ibs
    Article
     

    Supplements UC
    Video
    Ulcerative Colitis Health Check
    Tool
     
    Ulcerative Colitis Diet
    Slideshow
    Ulcerative Colitis Diet Yogurt
    Article
     

    Ulcerative Colitis Surgery
    Slideshow
    Ulcerative Colitis Medications
    Article
     
    Exercising When You Have A GI Disorder
    Article
    Picture Of The Intestines
    Image Collection