When gift shopping for a millennial friend or relative, you might immediately think of the latest tech gadget. But when your shopping for a millennial with ulcerative colitis (UC), gift buying takes on a whole other dimension.
Start by looking for items that will bring joy to their day and make their life just a little bit easier. Here are some suggestions to help you start shopping.
Stress doesn’t cause UC, but when it increases, stress can make symptoms flare up. Treat your millennial to a day at the spa for a tension-releasing massage.
Going to the bathroom multiple times a day can leave delicate areas of skin around the bottom red, cracked, and painful. Fill a basket with soothing supplies, like gentle ointments and creams, ultrasoft toilet paper, and moist towelettes.
This gift is a handy place for your friend to keep track of meals, which can help them identify foods that trigger their symptoms. A journal is also a useful tool for releasing pent-up stress. Writing about your worries helps get them off your chest.
Being away from home can be stressful under the best of circumstances. Travel that takes someone with UC far from their home base toilet can ratchet up their stress level even more.
Buy a cute travel kit and fill it with wipes, scented spray, toilet seat covers, and an extra pair of underwear to help your friend deal with any public bathroom emergencies that may arise.
People with UC need lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. What better reminder to drink water throughout the day than a colorful bottle with their name printed right on the front?
A reusable water bottle isn’t just convenient. It’s also good for the environment because it cuts down on the need for disposable plastic bottles.
A warm blanket is calming to both body and soul, especially on days when cramps are at their worst. The heat from the blanket can soothe even the most savage tummy ache.
Severe gastrointestinal symptoms disrupt digestion and leave some people with UC lacking in nutrients they need. Calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamins D and B-12 are a few of the most common deficiencies among people with this condition.
A gift card to GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, or a local health food store can help your friend or loved one stock up on all the supplements their doctor says they need.
Pill dispensers aren’t just for the over-65 crowd. People with UC rely on daily medication, like aminosalicylates, antibiotics, and corticosteroids. Getting them all straight can be time consuming and confusing.
Make medication administration easier with a device that automatically dispenses each pill at the right time every day. Some dispensers even send a message to the person’s smartphone at the scheduled time to prevent missed doses.
Do a search on Google or Amazon, and you’ll find dozens of cookbooks helpful for people with UC. Some are specific to the disease, while others focus on foods that reduce inflammation in general.
You can find recipes that are low in fiber or ones that are dairy-free. All of them are nutritionally targeted to make meal planning easier for people with IBD.
If your friend isn’t a fan of cooking, get them a subscription to a local food delivery service. Many companies today make meals that are medically tailored to the needs of people with IBD and other chronic conditions.
A Zumba, spin, yoga, or step class can provide a fun break during the day. Exercise improves strength and stamina and helps people with UC feel better overall.
When choosing a class, look for a program at your friend’s fitness level and one that they’ll like. Or, get a gift certificate to a gym that offers a variety of classes at different intensity levels.
When UC symptoms are at their worst, a night of binge-watching movies and TV shows on the couch could be just the thing. That’s when a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu comes in handy.
This one sounds weird, but IBD pillows do exist, and they’re actually kind of cute. A pillow is perfect for a cuddle — or a punch — whenever symptoms get rough.
Still not sure what to get? Show your support by making a donation to the organization that’s dedicated to improving the lives of people with IBD.
The ideal gifts for people with UC provide comfort, relaxation, and healing.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to make someone’s day. Just remember that no matter what you buy, the best gift you can give your loved one is your support, and a sympathetic ear whenever flares hit.