By: Dr. Neil Nandi, IBD-OLOGIST at Drexel Gastroenterology
“IBD flares can occur independent of the best care. However, ensuring treatment without interruption and avoiding flare triggers can make all the difference for a happy gut!"
1.Don’t Stop Your Medications, Even if You Feel Great.
This is exactly the time to continue your medication. Halting your medicine can cause its levels in your body to fall. Less medicine = more inflammation and flare. Yikes! Did you know that stopping some biologics may prevent your body from responding as well again? This could be the crucial time when your body needs this biologic the most.
2. Beware of Formulary Changes and Authorization Period Expirations.
Upon the New Year, many insurances may inconveniently change what drugs they cover, even if you’ve been authorized before. This can interrupt and delay your routine dosing schedule. In addition, pre-authorized medications are for a finite period of time. Be mindful when your drug coverage will expire and contact your doctor’s office WAY in advance!
3. Predict the Consequences of Insurance Change or Lapse.
Employers change insurance plans, people change jobs, and insurance lapses are not uncommon. If you are aware of an impending insurance change, don’t waste time to inform your doctor. Then they can get the ball rolling on authorizing your medication with the new insurance company to avoid delay and prevent interruption of your meds.
4. Eat Clean.
Food is medicine. A Mediterranean, unprocessed diet breeds good gut flora which in turn may help improve the immune system. Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, plant-based oils, and whole grains. Avoid/minimize red meat in favor of other protein rich sources, such as legumes, soy, and fish. Avoid sugar, soda, and preservative filled foods.
5. Be Active.
Establish a fitness goal for yourself and find a routine you enjoy. Exercise releases natural endorphins and is associated with a healthy gut!