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Crohn's Disease Forum » Ulcerative Colitis Forum » Exercise and colitis


07-01-2016, 05:00 AM   #1
PixieNB
 
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Exercise and colitis

Hi, I was diagnosed with UC in 2005, was very poorly at that time and it took a couple of weeks in hospital to stabilise. I only had a couple of flare-ups over the next 10 years, but things have changed now! Since October I have been really struggling. I have a stubborn case of proctitis, causing mucus, bleeding, inflammation, abdominal swelling and fatigue. I have been on azathioprine and asacol since 2005, and have been on asacol suppositories almost continually since October. They take ages to work (weeks) and if I stop taking them, thinking the symptoms have long gone, they come back with a vengeance. My main query is this: I am usually a very active and adventurous person, I do a lot of rock climbing and love to exercise. It is massively getting me down to be out of action for this long but I don't have the energy to do much. I tried a bit of exercise yesterday and felt awful, plus my bleeding was much worse afterwards. Does anyone have any tips on how to stay fit whilst battling UC? Any exercises that won't aggravate my condition?
07-01-2016, 05:51 AM   #2
ronroush7
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I am not sure. My gi was happy when I was doing the elliptical.
07-01-2016, 06:04 AM   #3
PixieNB
 
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I am not sure. My gi was happy when I was doing the elliptical.
Thanks. I don't have an elliptical though... But I like the idea of finding an exercise which doesn't jar the body.
07-01-2016, 06:06 AM   #4
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07-01-2016, 02:27 PM   #5
Cat-a-Tonic
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Hi Pixie, welcome to the forum. Can I ask what type of exercise you did the other day that made you feel worse? Sometimes just doing too much at first can set off symptoms - and yes, this is unfortunately true even if you used to do a lot of exercise. One of the things I've learned is that I cannot compare what I used to do before I got sick (or before a bad flare-up) to what I'm able to do now. It's like I have lived 2 different lives, one before sickness and one after, and my capabilities now are completely different (and ever-changing, really). I know that you want to do what you used to do, but honestly you need to get out of that mindset. It's like starting over fresh.

I'd recommend that you start off sloooowly and gently when it comes to exercise. Slow, short walks or some gentle yoga would be a good place to start. Try a 5 minute walk or 5 minutes of gentle yoga (nothing that puts a lot of pressure on the abdominal muscles). If something hurts, then stop doing it and either rest or do something else instead. Listen to your body and take it really slowly. If things go well then you can slowly & gradually increase the amount of time you're exercising and the intensity of the exercise, but don't just jump right into doing something intense without building up to it first.

And if even a small amount of gentle exercise still sets off symptoms, then honestly you may just have to get yourself out of this flare before your body will be able to exercise. Being in a flare-up means that your body is both contributing to the inflammation AND fighting it, and that's extremely taxing by itself, so sometimes in a flare rest is best.

I presume your doctor is aware that you've been flaring since October? Is there any plan from your medical team (changing meds or adding a new medication, trying one of the specialized diets, EEN, etc) to get you out of the flare?
07-01-2016, 04:54 PM   #6
Cross-stitch gal
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Well said Cat! I was going to mention walking, but you said it better than I would have.

Even now that I'm doing better, I still can overdo my walking. My husband and I were off for a few days of vacation and did more walking than either of us were used to. Needless to say, I've been hitting the Tylenol pretty hard.

Starting slow is the best way even with walking. You may need to keep the Tylenol handy especially at first. But, please try not to overdo like I did. You will find something that will work, but it may take time to find it. But, we're here for you along the way!
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07-01-2016, 07:18 PM   #7
teeny5
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I like to do yoga and Pilates. Zumba is fun too! I have a game for the Nintendo Wii for that.
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07-02-2016, 02:35 AM   #8
PixieNB
 
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Thanks for your replies. The exercise I did was going to the climbing gym and slowly stretching out my limbs on the easiest warm-ups. The intensity was about 5% of what I would usually climb if feeling well. I will try a bit of yoga I think, that is a good idea. I have been doing some gentle walking, although this isn't really doing anything to stop my muscles from atrophying!
I have been in regular contact with the gastro clinic and I had another colonoscopy in January (which showed lots of inflammation in the rectum and also at the start of the large bowel). I have had all the prelim tests for starting on biologics, got an appointment next Friday when I hope they are going to start me on this .... Because I can't cope with being on suppositories forever - they are a major reason why I can't exercise as it takes me a lot of concentration and abdominal control to keep them in!
07-02-2016, 03:13 AM   #9
Cross-stitch gal
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How long has it been since you were diagnosed? I do know that the suppositories take a bit to get used to. It took me awhile to get the hang of it. But, believe it or not they seem to have done the best for me along with the Pentasa. I hope you can find what works for you soon though.
07-02-2016, 05:03 AM   #10
PixieNB
 
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Diagnosed 2005. I've only just found the 'fitness and exercise' thread, which has lots of useful stuff on it. It's comforting to read about all the experiences on there of folk who get back to a decent level of fitness even after horrendous episodes of IBD. I used to compete for team GB at bouldering world cups when I first developed this disease. Since then I've lived a full life of adventure and exploring my physical capabilities, until this flare has put me totally out of action. I don't want to give up all these things that bring joy to my life, and I want to heal quick so that I can get back out there. But I am also acutely aware that I HAVE to live within my limitations and that sucks! It helps to be able to spout off a bit to other people who totally understand what I'm going through (physical and mental frustration!)
07-03-2016, 12:22 PM   #11
PixieNB
 
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Update: I have done 30mins of gentle yoga for two days and its a good result! No increase in bleeding and it surprisingly felt like proper exercise. I think I can build on this day by day and it's certainly making me feel more positive. Thanks for your help and suggestions. ☺
07-03-2016, 01:20 PM   #12
Cross-stitch gal
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Glad you found something that works!!! Take care!!!
07-04-2016, 09:35 PM   #13
teeny5
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That's great!
07-05-2016, 10:00 AM   #14
Cat-a-Tonic
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That's fantastic, Pixie! I'm so glad to hear it! Please continue to keep us posted on how you're doing.
07-05-2016, 01:34 PM   #15
PixieNB
 
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Well....bad news now I'm afraid. I walk to and from work (it's only a mile each way) and I've been taking it super slow during this flare. But I walked home at normal speed today and yesterday and my symptoms have all worsened quite a lot. Feel like I took one step forward and two steps back (in my recovery, not my walking technique!) So I'm pretty sorry for myself again. Early night for me and back to snail's pace tomorrow.
07-05-2016, 01:37 PM   #16
ronroush7
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Well....bad news now I'm afraid. I walk to and from work (it's only a mile each way) and I've been taking it super slow during this flare. But I walked home at normal speed today and yesterday and my symptoms have all worsened quite a lot. Feel like I took one step forward and two steps back (in my recovery, not my walking technique!) So I'm pretty sorry for myself again. Early night for me and back to snail's pace tomorrow.
I am sorry. I hope you feel better soon.

07-05-2016, 02:37 PM   #17
Cat-a-Tonic
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Sorry to hear it, Pixie, that's frustrating. Hopefully it's just a minor setback and you'll be back on track soon. Take care of yourself until things calm down.
01-02-2017, 09:06 PM   #18
teddytutu2017
 
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Does anyone have any tips on how to stay fit whilst battling UC? Any exercises that won't aggravate my condition?
Gentle exercises like swimming (i.e.) gentle breaststroke or doggy paddle only.

And also pilates and yoga. Even just stretching.

I would like to share this link with you, as the person being interviewed found that yoga really helped his UC symptoms:

http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow...ter-digestion/

"With a combination of deep breathing, stretches that target abdominal organs, and twists that massage and wring out stuck intestinal toxins, this sequence relieves a wide range of digestive discomfort".
02-07-2017, 04:19 PM   #19
Surrey89
 
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Hey, I enjoy riding a bicycle. It helps relieve stress wen I ride leisurely.

02-25-2017, 10:05 PM   #20
Cmeyers
 
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Hi, my son was diagnosed the start of his senior year in high school. He should have been in the hospital, but he pushed through..he was a 3 sport athlete and worked real hard and got a schlorship to run track in college. Fast forward..freshman year a flare right before he left that escalated out of control. The workouts he loved but the other was a bad struggle. Ended up back in hospital for a few weeks before semester ever ended. Came home and just was EXTREMELY depressed. Sure came and he was a lil better....lifeguardin g again and coaching Y track. Ended up getting rhabdomylosis due to extreme dehydration. ..partially because of meds and flare starting and workouts. It's now happened again and he is even more upset because he can't even work out. I just don't know how to help. When he gets soo upset and anxious I don't know what to do. ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated!!! My son is 20.
02-25-2017, 11:23 PM   #21
Cross-stitch gal
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Hi, my son was diagnosed the start of his senior year in high school. He should have been in the hospital, but he pushed through..he was a 3 sport athlete and worked real hard and got a schlorship to run track in college. Fast forward..freshman year a flare right before he left that escalated out of control. The workouts he loved but the other was a bad struggle. Ended up back in hospital for a few weeks before semester ever ended. Came home and just was EXTREMELY depressed. Sure came and he was a lil better....lifeguardin g again and coaching Y track. Ended up getting rhabdomylosis due to extreme dehydration. ..partially because of meds and flare starting and workouts. It's now happened again and he is even more upset because he can't even work out. I just don't know how to help. When he gets soo upset and anxious I don't know what to do. ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated!!! My son is 20.
We have a part of the forum for Parents of Kids with IBD. I think you'd benefit there as far as being able to talk with other parents. Also, I'd encourage him to look on here as well. There's always someone on here to talk to at all hours of the night or day. Sometimes, when you're that sick all it takes is being able to talk with someone who understands!
10-14-2017, 05:19 AM   #22
MaryCherub
 
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Any exercises that won't aggravate my condition?
I found yoga very helpful. Got rid of my lower back pain too.
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