The best sources of colitis support include physicians, dietitians, counselors, and peers. There are various aspects of getting the support one needs when dealing with any chronic condition, and both medical and emotional support should be enlisted. Most patients begin by speaking with a family physician and getting recommendations for specialists as well as initial medical treatment. He or she may prescribe medication, recommend avoiding certain foods, or refer another doctor who knows about colitis.
One of the first and best sources of colitis support comes from a doctor. This can include a general practitioner or a specialist. Patients generally first see a physician when getting a diagnosis, and then continue to do so for treatments and additional exams. A variety of medical personnel may be needed at one point or another during the diagnosis and treatment of colitis.
When a diagnosis has been firmly made, patients may find colitis support with dietitians. These are professionals who help clients plan and develop healthy eating patterns. Some specialize in helping patients who suffer from certain conditions, and those with colitis may benefit from eating certain foods and avoiding others to alleviate symptoms.
Other sources of colitis support can come from trained counselors or therapists and peers. Many individuals find the stress of having a chronic, and often embarrassing, condition stressful and may develop depression or anxiety. A counselor can help these patients discuss what they are feeling and develop coping mechanisms that will further healing. Peers who also have the condition can also be invaluable sources of colitis support because they understand the struggles one goes through dealing with symptoms.
Support groups for those with colitis can be found in many areas and online. Most online groups allows members to type in questions for other members to answer. They share tips and remedies for avoiding flares and relapses in symptoms and may provide advice for living with the condition.
Some patients may also turn to family and friends for support. By educating them about their condition and helping to develop ways to fit life around symptoms, families can function as normally as possible. Patients often need the help of loved ones to accommodate their lifestyles during certain situations when symptoms may be especially bothersome or problematic.