IBD flare management plan

Use these guidelines when there's a flare-up of symptoms. They will help you decide what to do and when to do it.


If you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain that is bearable
  • First sight of blood in stool
  • Mild increased bowel motions (partially formed) 3-5 times in 24 hours
  • Waking at night for bowel movement
  • Change in appetite and/or energy for 24-48 hours

You need to:

  • Go to the GP 
  • Ensure medication compliance 
  • Complete blood & stool tests to exclude infection 
  • Reduce stress 
  • Avoid dietary triggers 
  • Ensure future IBD clinic appointment is booked


If you have any of the following symptoms: 

  • Abdominal pain that is bearable and relieved with intervention 
  • Blood <50% small amount with most stools 
  • Increased bowel motions (partially formed) 6-8 times in 24 hours 
  • Decreased appetite or fatigue >48hrs 
  • Joint pain affecting mobility

You need to:

  • Contact:
  • If you do not receive a response and you are still concerned, contact your GP or nearest Hospital Emergency Department.


If you have any of the following symptoms: 

  • Abdominal pain that is not relieved with intervention •
  • Blood >50% of all stools and/or clots 
  • Persistent diarrhoea >8 times in 24 hours 
  • Dark green vomit 
  • Dehydration – no oral intake 
  • Fever >38deg whilst on steroids, biological or immunomodulator medications that suppress your immune system

You need to: Present to nearest Hospital Emergency Department for medical assessment

  • If you have been given specific guidance by the IBD team when symptoms increase, please follow the plan. 
  • If you have not received a response during business hours, please contact your GP for medical advice. 
  • If you are concerned and have done all you can to manage the symptoms, please present to nearest hospital


These guidelines are adapted from 'Guide for your IBD Road to Wellness', CHOC Children's Hospital, California, USA

Last updated Monday 15th July 2024