IBD Wellbeing tool

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About you

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About your medication

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About your medication

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About your lifestyle

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About your lifestyle

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Do you take a multivitamin supplement?

About your lifestyle

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What types of food do you eat regularly?

About your lifestyle

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Your Results

Thank you for completing the Guts4Life IBD Wellbeing tool.

Managing your IBD can be a real challenge, supporting yourself by making good choices about your lifestyle is so important. Below are some recommendations to help you manage your IBD, tailored to suit you based on the answers you have given.

  • Well done - taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor will really help manage your IBD.

    It’s really important that you take your medication regularly. Maintenance treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis has to be taken regularly to prevent flare-ups.

    Although you may not see any immediate changes to your symptoms when you stop your medication, stopping your medication can increase the chance of a flare-up.

    Patients who take their medication as prescribed have a really strong chance of maintaining remission, compared to those who don't take their medicine regularly. If you really feel your medication is not helping you, discuss this with your doctor or specialist who can adjust your treatment accordingly.

    It can be difficult to remember to take your medication. Try to set an alarm on your mobile telephone or wristwatch, and time your medications around regular events in your life, such as eating or sleep patterns. If you are really struggling speak to your doctor to see if there are medications or formulations which can be taken less frequently.

    If you are really struggling talk to your doctor about what other types of medications or formulations may be more suited to your schedule or lifestyle.

    Always discuss with your doctor anything that you think might be a side effect of your medication, as there are always alternatives or ways of dealing with them.

  • Well done - exercising regularly is good for you psychologically as well as physically and will help you to cope with your IBD.

    Staying active is good for you psychologically as well as physically - remember you do not have to do intense exercise, taking a walk or gardening can also help you to stay active and healthy.

    Staying active is good for you psychologically as well as physically, and can help ward off complications of IBD. Try to incorporate exercise into your normal schedule - remember you do not have to do intense exercise, taking a walk or gardening can also help you to stay active and healthy.

  • Keeping emotionally well can really help with your IBD - keep up the good work!

    Although emotional upset does not cause IBD itself, in some people stressful situations, or strong emotions, may lead to flare-ups of symptoms. If you find you are anxious or stressed a lot try:

    • Listening to relaxing music
    • Taking a walk somewhere peaceful
    • Meditation or lying down in a dark room for a few minutes
    • Talking to a friend or therapist
    • Having a long bath
    • Reading
    • Biofeedback
    • Relaxation and breathing exercises
    • Practicing yoga or tai chi
    • Hypnotherapy

    If none of these help - speak to your doctor or specialist.

  • Well done - talking about your IBD will help people to understand more about your condition and how it affects you. It will also help to break taboos around IBD. If you haven't already, you may also find it helpful to join patient groups, where you can talk about what you are going through with others in a similar situation. Visit our useful links page for more information.

    It’s really good you are able to talk to people close to you about your IBD. You might want to also include others, such as colleagues or new friends. The more people you speak to, the easier it will be. Telling others will help people to understand more about your condition and how it affects you. It will also help to break taboos around IBD. If you haven't already, you may find it helpful to join patient groups where you can talk about what you are going through with others in a similar situation. Visit our useful links page for more information.

    It can be hard to discuss your condition with others, but talking about your IBD will help people to understand more about you and what you are going through so they can support you better. You may find it helpful to join patient groups, where you can talk about what you are going through with others in a similar situation. Visit our useful links page for more information.

  • Eating small portions throughout the day is generally beneficial to people with IBD. Smaller portions will help to reduce the load on the digestive system, helping it to digest the food better.

    If your IBD is well managed and this style of eating suits you then this is fine. However in general it's better to eat smaller portions regularly. Divide the daily intake into 5-6 smaller portions and eat every 2-3 hours. This is better than eating less frequent but larger portions. Smaller portions will help to reduce the load on the digestive system, helping it to digest the food better.

    Liquidised or blended foods are really useful when you are having a flare-up. Discuss with your doctor or dietician how best to integrate a blended/liquidised diet if you haven't already.

    Grains (wheat, rice, oats, rice, barley) found in bread, pasta and cereal are a great source of energy, fibre, vitamin B and some minerals (e.g. iron, magnesium). Wholegrain products are generally recommended for most people as they contain more fibre, vitamins and iron. However, wholegrain products can also contain insoluble fibre, which can be irritating for people with IBD, especially during a flare-up. Try refined products during this time instead, and slowly re-introduce whole-grains week by week. If you need advice, please speak to your doctor or dietician.

    Although fruits and vegetables are good for you, they can aggravate symptoms (especially when the intestines are inflamed). Rather than eliminating these necessary foods from your diet, thoroughly cook fruits and vegetables, and avoid eating them raw.

    Reduce or avoid intake of milk and dairy products. Milk and dairy products (milk, cream and processed cheeses, less in yogurts both full-fat or low-fat) can aggravate symptoms of IBD. They should be avoided during flare-ups and then gradually re-included in the diet according to your personal tolerance for dairy products.

    Fish contains essential amino acids and are a good protein source. Protein can be useful during a flare-up and recovery. Try to eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna.

    Meat products contain essential amino acids and are a good protein source. Protein is especially important during a flare-up and just afterwards. Always remove the visible fat and choose lean and low fat cuts.

    Reduce intake of fat - fats can increase intestinal peristalsis and cause crampy pains. Reducing oils, butters, hardened fats and margarines, cream but also desserts and filled biscuits can help to reduce fat intake.

    Try to eat more freshly made foods. Processed foods can aggravate symptoms of IBD.

    Although high fibre foods are good for you, these can aggravate symptoms (especially when the intestines are inflamed). Cook high fibre foods before eating, rather than eliminating these necessary foods from your diet.

    Reduce intake of simple sugars - these are found in honey, desserts, cakes and concentrated fruit juices. They may cause or increase the chance of diarrhoea.

    Avoid artificial sweeteners – in particular sorbitol – that may cause or increase the chance of diarrhoea.

    Caffeine can cause gas and aggravate symptoms of IBD, so is therefore best avoided.

    Carbonated drinks can cause gas and aggravate symptoms of IBD, so are therefore best avoided.

    Always speak to a qualified dietician/nutritionist if you are concerned about your diet.

  • In general, it is probably worthwhile for most people with IBD to take a multivitamin preparation regularly.

    Speak to your doctor about the best vitamin or mineral supplements to take for your situation.

  • Research has shown that smoking has a negative effect in patients with Crohn's disease. There is conflicting evidence around the effect of smoking on ulcerative colitis, but in general smoking is bad for your health.

    Congratulations - non smokers have a lower chance of IBD recurrences than smokers! Keep up the good work.

  • Drinking moderately is generally ok for people with IBD - however if you feel your symptoms worsening you should try to cut out alcohol for a while to see if it makes a difference.

    Drinking moderately is generally ok for people with IBD, but drinking can aggravate the condition. Speak with your IBD health team about what is reasonable in your situation, or take a look at your national guidelines for more information.

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