Christmas and New Year is full of temptations. rich, heavy foods, alcohol and parties! So what an we do to avoid a flare up as best we can?
These are my top tips, I would love to hear yours!
Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!
Dehydration is a huge concern to people following the removal of the large bowel, whether it is for an ileostomy stoma or JPouch as in my case.
The colon is responsible for reabsorbing large amounts of liquid that are passed on from the stomach to the small intestine. When the colon is removed output is higher and contains much of the essential liquids your body needs to function. It can be inefficient in maintaining levels of electrolytes and minerals that are needed and dehydration is a serious issue.
Being dehydrated is a serious risk to your general health, it can cause dizziness, dry mouth, little or no urination, concentrated dark urine, weight loss, hoarse voice, acne sunken eyes, insomnia and energy loss. Feeling lethargic, achy and stiff seem to be the symptoms that people don’t associate with dehydration particularly when they suffer IBD as it could also indicate active disease. If you are suffering it is vital to get checked out.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! Don't drink more water, drink the right drinks,
There are many solutions available that help which are usually targeted for Diarrhea and sickness such as dioralyte, my favourite is a simple solvable tablet sold under the label O.R.S - Oral Hydration Solution, it includes electrolytes, glucose and minerals. It comes in various flavours, lemon being my favourite and is available in most chemist and supermarkets, its more palatable than dioralyte. The most effective solution is apparently St Marks Oral hydration Solution, it has been developed by bowel disease consultants and experts to tackle the problem with minimal cost.
The recipe for St Marks solution follows and whilst I have not tried it personally as I’ve not needed it, it comes highly recommended.
AVOID THE BURN!
Spicy rich food will, ultimately give spicy, rich poop! but we cant always avoid it and absolutely deserve a treat sometimes.
Here's my top tips for avoiding and treating the dreaded butt burn when it hits!
Wash don't wipe! a portable bidet or just a bowel of epsom salted water with soft cotton pads can be heaven to a sore inflamed butt!
Ditch the fragranced botty wipes! they are like paint stripper to a sore botty. if you have to use them when out, look for those infused with witch hazel or pure, not even baby wipe as they can sting and irritate!
Look for an ointment such as Metanium, it is a Titanium Oxide based ointment that is bright yellow and thick in consistency, it has a very medicated odour and is long lasting once applied! Apply at night and you will be amazed come morning, it really heals fast!
Protect the skin once the roarness has eased, use a good carrier cream, and keep up the washing, not wiping as much as you can!
Rest and Recuperate!
Remember you are fighting an invisible battle, not everyone will understand but trust in yourself, if you feel the need to stop and chill, do!
Avoid awkward situations, don't avoid your loved ones but if you have an impaired immune system, especially us on immune-suppressants and biologics, educated those around you. You are not being fussy avoiding those with colds and viruses, you are protecting yourself.
Avoid Trigger Foods!
It is really tempting to have just he one... but if you know its the one thing that will set you off, don't do it. its not worth it! there are some fantastic alternatives on the market to foods that can substitute dairy, gluten, sugar and other irritants. Think long term and cherish your health.
Thank you for reading and I wish you all a very safe, healthy, wonderful Christmas and New Year!