Getting Through the Holidays During an IBD Flare
The Holiday Season is upon us, and dinner parties and social gatherings can pose extra challenges for those living with IBD.
The rich foods, alcoholic beverages, and added stress from family parties and social gatherings can trigger flare-ups making it difficult to enjoy the moment.
While having Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can complicate things, it shouldn’t stop you from making the most of the holiday season.
These tips can help you get through the end-of-year celebrations if you have an IBD flare.
Watch the Video: Getting Through the Holidays During an IBD Flare
Learn What Triggers Your Flare-Ups
IBD is a highly individual condition. Therefore, foods that may cause flare-ups in some people may not affect others. For example, some experience symptom flare-ups after eating dairy, while others may have worsening symptoms while eating spicy or acidic foods.
Try keeping a journal of all the foods you eat and make notes as to how you feel afterwards. This can help you identify foods that trigger symptoms so you can avoid them in the future.
Additionally, be careful when sampling new dishes, as you never know how your body will react.
Eat Smaller Meals
We know how tempting it can be to sit around deliciously rich food you only enjoy once a year, but overeating can trigger a flare-up.
A good tip is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals, as this can minimize stress on your bowels.
Mind What You Drink
Alcohol, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks can all trigger flare-ups or interact with your medication. So before you raise your glass to toast, think about what triggers your symptoms and choose your beverage wisely.
Maintain Your Medication Schedule
Prolonged stress is a known trigger for IBD, and we all know how stressful the holiday season can be. This means finding healthy ways to lower your stress levels is critical to avoid flare-ups.
Consider deep breathing, yoga, or meditation exercises to help you relax throughout the day.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
While exercising may be the furthest thing from your mind during a flare-up, studies show that low and moderate-intensity exercise can help prevent and manage IBD.
Exercise lowers stress and can help regulate bowel movements. If you are experiencing a flare-up during the holidays, try going for a walk or doing a low-impact home workout.
Speak to your doctor before you start an exercise routine. They can make valuable recommendations on the type and frequency of exercise that is right for you.
While navigating the holiday season with IBD can be challenging, it’s not impossible. Remember to set and communicate your boundaries to your family and friends ahead of time to avoid misunderstandings and help prevent flare-ups during this time.
We hope you have a happy and flare-up free holiday season!