Calm the fire within
What Is A Flare-Up?
A flare-up is a sudden intensification or outburst of hostile symptoms that indicate an illness is active. For people with chronic illnesses, flare-ups can affect different people in different ways, however, in most cases, it involves pain and consecutive bad days. Some people experience flare-ups that last a few minutes and others find themselves enduring flare-ups for months. Flare-ups for warriors living with IBD or IBS can take many different forms such as:
- Frequent, recurring, and potentially bloody diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding and Hemorrhoids
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fever and Chills
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Fatigue and a feeling of low energy
- Reduced appetite
What To Do
There is something you can do about it! Yes, even you! Some of the best things I have found to use against your flare-ups are knowledge, support, and rest.
First and foremost, you must obtain knowledge of what might trigger your flare-ups. It could be certain foods, stressful situations, smoking, alcohol, sudden medication changes, antibiotics, or maybe something else entirely. The important point here is that you understand what your body is trying to tell you and how to avoid it by staying away from triggers.
Secondly, your support system is key. If you find yourself experiencing flare-ups while around people, it is extremely helpful to have someone with you who knows what’s up. They can recognize that you’re in pain, that you maybe can’t talk about it right now, and that you might need to spend a little extra time in the bathroom to go through the dang thing. Having a subtle, non-verbal signal can really help communicate to your support system that you are experiencing a flare and do not want to draw attention to it. Personally, I look over at my support person and drape my arm over my head (as if I am stretching it or something) which tells them:
“I am in pain and cannot talk about it right now. Give me a minute to compose myself and I’ll be fine soon. We should wrap this up and find a bathroom soon.”
It is especially helpful when traveling!
Lastly, you must rest. Provide your body with the environment to recover from the flare-up regardless of intensity. This could look like sitting down for a few minutes to just breathe and remind yourself that you’re going to be ok. It could also look like taking a power nap or just going to bed early. Rest is literally the best thing you can give your body after something like a flare-up and you will feel much better.
Always remember that the bad times never last and you will overcome them. Having a sense of understanding and a plan are your best weapons to ensure that you conquer your flare-up in the best way you can. You got this!
Don’t lose hope!
HEALING IS POSSIBLE.
Thanks for stopping by,