5 Tips to Survive the Summer with IBD

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Well, we’ve finally gotten into the summer months and for most people it’s a time to party and have fun. For many with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, it can be somewhat of a hassle. Your risk for dehydration goes up, and you have to deal with the stress of travel. Summertime has long been associated with vacationing and relaxing! How on earth are we supposed to do that when there are so many things we have to deal with? Having a chronic illness is stressful enough!

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This week, I wanted to write a post giving you some tips to help make your summer a little bit easier. Here are my top 5 tips for surviving the summer with IBD.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is important for everyone. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water; and water is always trying to escape so it’s important to stay on top of your water intake. In the summer months, it is even more important to stay hydrated. Add a chronic illness that deals with vomiting and diarrhea and you have a recipe for disaster! If you aren’t careful, you could get landed in the hospital.

Apps

The obvious way of keeping hydrated is to keep drinking water throughout the day. When you’re distracted by summertime activities, it’s easy to forget to do this. But there are some things that can help you with this. First, there are apps!

My favorite app is Plant Nanny! Plant Nanny makes hydration fun. It’s an app that reminds you to drink water throughout the day by making a game out of it. While you’re hydrating yourself, you’re also encouraged to keep your plants alive by watering them as well. To make things even more interesting, you can make it into a competition with your friends and laugh at them when they unintentionally kill their plants by neglecting to keep up with how much water they’ve had. Who doesn’t like a game with friendly competition?

Monitor Your Pee

I know it might sound weird, but your pee can tell you a lot about your body. It can tell you if you have a urinary tract infection. Sometimes it can tell you if you have liver or bile duct problem. It can tell you if have a rare genetic disease. Most importantly, it can tell you if you are dehydrated or over-hydrated.

Some things you want to look for when it comes to your pee:

  • Clear – You may want to cut back on your water intake. Drinking too much water can be a bad thing.
  • Orange/brown/dark – You’re dehydrated and you should rehydrate ASAP.
  • Light-yellow – This is your goal. You want to make sure you stay in this range. It means you are not running the risk of dehydration nor are you drinking too much.

Keep Your Water Bottle Handy

Something else that has been helpful for me is keeping my water bottle/jug in plain sight and filling it frequently. When I get busy throughout the day, I will confess that sometimes I get lazy and don’t make time to get myself a glass of water. I have found it extremely helpful to keep my large water jug nearby. Not only does it remind me to drink, but it’s also convenient.

(Continue to Part Two >>)