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This page aims to answer some of the questions you may have about the Irritable Bowel Disease Service and coping with your condition. If cannot find the answer you need, please calll the helpline on 01473 702865 and leave a message.
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How can I reduce my chance of having a flare-up?
  • Take your medication as prescribed and make sure you get repeat supplies in good time.
  • Do not stop just because you feel better as it is the medication that is keeping you well: take the course of treatment as prescribed.
  • Prompt and appropriate action can often prevent a flare-up getting worse. If your symptoms are flaring over a period of 48 hours or more you can either contact your GP or the IBD helpline for further advice.
  • Once you are more familiar with the treatment options and have seen how we tend to adjust these, you may be willing to manage some of the treatment adjustments yourself, but if in doubt ask. Such self-management can apply to restarting oral mesalazine (for example Asacol or Pentasa) or topical enema or suppository medications, but not oral steroid (prednisolone) or immune suppressants such as azathioprine which always require medical supervision.
  • Where possible, avoid taking anti-inflammatory pain relief medications (known as NSAIDs - such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Neurofen or Voltarol) as these can trigger relapses. Take paracetamol instead, with or without codeine if stronger pain relief is required, although codeine can lead to constipation and so should be taken with caution.
  • Avoid situations which are likely to lead to gastrointestinal infections, for example: store, prepare and cook food appropriately. Take appropriate precautions during exotic foreign travel (more detailed information regarding travel advice can be obtained from the IBD nurses, GP practice or go to the Crohn’s and Colitis UK website). Maintain good hand hygiene if family members are affected by gastroenteritis.
  • Many patients report worsening of their IBD in relation to periods of increased stress. Therefore, minimising exposure where possible, practicing stress management techniques and seeking support from family and friends and also employers early can often be very helpful.
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