Ulcerative Colitis: Avoiding the Temptations of College Life
College and UC: Strategies for Stress Relief
Even though stress doesn't cause ulcerative colitis, it can aggravate your
UC symptoms. So the more you can do to keep stress in check, especially during
semester's busiest times, the better off you will be.
Nedbal credits her friends and family with being extremely supportive and
helping her deal with UC. And she always lets her professors know she has UC on
the first day of class. So when she had to miss a week of school after a
bad flare one semester, her professors were understanding.
"Don't be ashamed of having ulcerative colitis," she says. "People are a lot
more understanding than you think. They're not going to judge you or make fun
of you. Just be open about it and you'll get a lot more support than you think
Getting the support you need is one way of preventing and relieving stress.
Exercising and learning to relax are others.
"When I do get really stressed with school and everything, it's important to
take a deep breath and figure everything out," Nedbal says. "I make sure I keep
up on my homework and try not to procrastinate because that will just cause
more stress in the future."
Last summer, Nedbal didn't have health insurance. So when she felt a flare
coming, she tried to keep stress to a minimum by focusing on the big picture.
She made it through the summer without any flares.
In fact, she says, UC has actually made her much mellower. “If I start to
get stressed, I remember that it's only going to make me sick so it's not worth
it,” she says. “I have taught myself to go with the flow and not get worked up
about as many things."
Once students learn lessons like these, Zimmermann says, “The sky is the
limit. When the disease is well controlled, these kids can do anything because
they've already shown they can cope with chronic disease. So coping with a full
class load and all these other issues is something they've already proven they