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Old 12-04-2009, 09:05 PM   #2
GodHand GodHand is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: OH
Posts: 108
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Re: How can I treat my ulcerative colitis?

Hello there. I am 27 now and was diagnosed this year (was 26 at the time). I had very similar symptoms as you - blood and mucus with the occasional solids. A colonoscopy revealed very mild ulcerative colitis (if mine is mild, I'd hate to see what severe is). Anyways, I was put on rectal enemas nightly (Rowasa) and 1.2GM of Lialda (which I still take to this day). The Rowasa I discontinued after about 2 months, and it put me in remission until recently. Now my symptoms are returning after a bought with a stomach illnees in mid-November; my next GI appointment isn't until December 23rd, however.

My doctor told me diet has little to do with flare-ups, but eating fruits and vegetables can help. Staying away from caffeine is also a good idea, as is limiting alcohol use. Cigarette (tobacco) has been shown to actually reduce IBD sufferers' symptoms but it is not recommended as a use of treatment due to its life threatening side effects.

I also worry about one day having surgery to have my colon remove, but the only relief I get from having this disease is knowing it CAN be cured by surgery and that surgery for IBD is getting to a point where you aren't hindered from daily activities (research J-pouch surgery). 40% of people with UC will have to have surgery, and most includes the removal of the entire colon.

I also exercise and eat well (I'm a weightlifter). It helps when I'm doing it. It seems like my UC flares during this time of the year. Most likely you'll be put on oral meds with some rectal meds to directly treat the inflammation and stop the bleeding. The rectal meds work wonders, believe me; they're just very expensive if you don't have insurance (and sometimes WITH insurance).

Expect a colonoscopy every 2-3 years, especially when you have a direct link to colorectal cancer in your family. My father has colitis, too, but has only had 2 flares in his entire life and he's 65 now. He has never been on treatment for it, and I have no colorectal cancer episodes in my bloodline.

Good luck. If you'd like to discuss this further, don't hesitate to PM me since I'm still fairly new to all this, too.