Re: alternatives to prednisone
Hi. As a 14 year survivor of Crohn's I can give you a bit of advice. First off, have your GI double and triple check you have UC, not Crohn's. I went 3 years with a mis DX. Next its time to go up the ladder to an immuno or biologic. I know thats not what you want to hear but an immuno or biologic is actually BETTER for your body long term. Pred is terrible. Make plans to get off it as soon as possible. Most of the emotional roller coaster you are feeling is a prednisone side effect (lovely eh?) my docs joke that my husband can move out when they have to put me on pred now because of my attitude. The long term effects of Pred are catastrophic. Something they don't bother to tell you when you get Dxed.
So here's a rough outline of meds that are there, look them up, be knowledgeable go to your doctor knowing something and make him PROVE he knows what he is doing. First line of IBD drugs is Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa (this is where you are now) Then we move into immunosuppressants Methotrexate, Immuran, and 6mps Then we have Biologics, Humira, Remicade and Tsarbi. Right now I am on Sulfazalazine (kinda the same as Asacol) and Humira for my gut and basically in remission. It is common to use 2 different types of medications to induce and maintain remission. For instance Remicade and Methotrexate is a common combo. ( I can't take Immunos thats why I am not on one) The best advice I can give you is to become your own advocate. Find support groups, learn everything you can about your illness so you know what your GI is really talking about instead of just taking for granted the guy in the white coat will do the best for you.
Lastly, it will get better. Yes it's a life long condition but as you learn how to deal with your illness, your triggers and find medications that treat you it does get better.