Since being a UC patient for seven years and now being UC-free for 5, I have a well-rounded perspective on how patients feel when working with their doctors. If you want to learn how to get more from your doctor’s visit, you are in the right place! In coaching people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease for the last several years, I have learned much about gut health and what it’s like to live with a bowel disease. The number one frustration I hear from people who come to me for help is that their doctors offer no advice outside their prescriptions. Patients want to know ALL of the possibilities for improvement, not only medication.
IBD Patients Look To Their Doctors For Information
Do you feel like you are getting all the help you need from your doctor’s visits? If you are dealing with ulcerative colitis, you are probably very stressed and want to learn all the things that could be potentially helpful. Do you want to learn how to get more from your doctor’s visit? You are prob ably fearful of dealing with this disease and want to trust your doctors. In most cases, they will do almost anything to heal inflammatory bowel disease. This is where patients are looking to their doctors to learn about other helpful tools. Doing this can give their patients some influence over their condition, such as nutrition, sleep, stress management, and other lifestyle factors.
When I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2012, my doctor could not advise me on lifestyle, nutrition, sleep, or anything else that could affect the disease aside from just taking the prescribed medication. Even though I did take the drugs, in my case, they had little effect. For me, the lifestyle changes had the most significant impact and ultimately led me to put the disease to bed. You can read about my story HERE.
Lifestyle Habits Have a Big Impact
After five years of being symptom-free, I have learned how vital a healthy lifestyle and daily healthy habits are. Unfortunately, many of these things are not typically discussed with IBD patients. The biggest ones are food and nutrition. Doctors rarely advise patients on what to eat, such as avoiding excessive fiber. For example, the use of the amino acid glycine. This amino acid is helpful because the cells in the gut lining love to mop up any glycine to help rebuild the lining while eliminating other sources of irritants, allowing the gut lining to calm down and heal. However, I only learned through experience how useful it is to calm inflammation and get through a flare-up. Unfortunately, the literature only supports that glycine is helpful, but no details are given on how to use it.
IBD Patients Need Emotional Support
Another example is stress management and meditation. Living with IBD is hard. Not just uncomfortable. It is frightening, and you feel like you have no control. Learning to meditate, breathe to reduce anxiety, get better sleep and calm your nerves goes a long way in helping people feel better quickly. The best part is that it costs nothing and it is easy to learn. Most people do not address stress as a big part of IBD. In addition, most people I speak to have also had significant trauma, often not long before their disease started.
IBD Patients Need More Support From Doctors
After working with many people with inflammatory bowel disease, doctors could dramatically increase their success rates by incorporating some of these practices into their patient visits. IBD patients are willing to do almost anything to heal. Giving people direction on lifestyle habits that can improve their condition also empowers them to make healthy choices. In the end, the efforts go far beyond the short office visit and engage people to take an active role in their health. So how to get more from your doctor’s visit? Continue to ask them what else you can do to help your body.
Are you looking for emotional support through this challenging disease? Are you ready to implement lifestyle and nutrition practices to help your body heal? I can help you do just that. Click HERE TO LEARN MORE.