How do you stop a flare in its tracks?

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Ju330
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 9/12/2011 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
So... I haven't been around for awhile, and I usually don't post much, just glean what I can from other's posts. But, this time around I thought I'd get specific input from y'all... so here's my little story:
 
I have been on Remicade for almost a year and a half, and have been doing pretty well on it. Not as well as I was on Humira (best remission of my life), but certainly okay. I just moved a few weeks ago, and so was under a bit of stress, starting a new job, etc. Then, I developed these crazy knots in my back for like a week- so much pain I could barely move. Somewhere in there, I started having a bit of D, which quickly turned into what I know to be the beginning of a flare for me: several trips to the bathroom a night, bad cramps, etc. I'm now at 3-ish trips at night, and at least 5 during the day. No blood or mucous, yet, though, and so I'm thinking I can probably kick this thing's butt before it gets worse.
 
So: I've started taking George's Aloe Vera, which seemed to be helping the first few days, then not so much, I don't know why. I purchased some slippery elm powder, but am a little wary of when/how to take it, as I know it can interfere with the absorption of Asacol. My diet right now consists of bananas, rice, eggs, kefir/yogurt, almond milk, stuff like that. Oh, and a protein shake once or twice a day. Anything else seems to just run right through me (blech), or cause more pain.
 
Anything anyone would suggest I change/add/whatever? I'm feeling pretty positive right now about stopping this before it gets really bad... but today was not a good one at work- lots of belly pain and trips to the bathroom (I work at a health food store, though, which is a plus! Employee discount!!  turn )
 
Sorry such a long post...

bosnianboy12
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 9/12/2011 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Interesting. Maybe it's something that you are eating. For some people, bananas bother their UC. I know personally protein shakes destroy me. If I have just one, I won't be the same for days. Also, dairy tends to upset UC. Then again, it really varies from person to person. I know personally those things bother me. Maybe you should try dieting for a little.

Also, if it starts to get bad, maybe some prednisone will stop it. I'm not a big fan of it, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Good luck.
21 year old student at Kent State University.
Diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 13 with UC or Crohn's. Diagnosis changed to Crohn's Colitis 2/8/2011. Again changed to UC 9/8/2011
Had a few remicade infusions. saved my colon. Ineffective now.
LDN started 5/25/2011. Flaring up moderately.

http://www.facebook.com/ihadzovic

puffed rice
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 9/12/2011 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Ju330,
 
I would stop the protien shakes and aloe, shakes for me cause alot of gas and pain and aloe I never found to do anything.
 
Immediately start using enemas nightly to control whatever inflammation is starting.  If you can get on these you could probably stop your flare from getting out of control.
 
Are you on any oral meds?  Are you at the maintenance dose or high dose?
 
If you work at a health food store invest in a high quality probiotic, make sure it has a high number of live bacteria in it.  Take it a couple of times a day on an empty stomach to replace good bacteria in the colon.
 
Take metamucil nightly-bulks the stool, makes things easier to pass and absorbs the water in the colon.  Drink tons of water.
 
Make sure your getting enough sleep nightly.
Mezavant tablets 4 once daily 4.8g
hycort enemas when needed/vitamin E enema
Cortifoam when needed
BIo-k and UltimateFlora Critical care Probiotics daily
metamucil nightly

aguywithuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2548
   Posted 9/12/2011 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I just eat sunflower seeds, drink lots of water and eat salmon, spinach. Psyllium seed powder.

I normally flare this time of year but have been hydrating big time. Worked 4 all nighters last week, 2 were 36 hours straight, others were 1-2 hour rest. I am doing fine just tired. Few more weeks and I will be in the clear as I never flare in winter.
Real food, high protein.

beachlife
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 9/13/2011 12:56 AM (GMT -7)   
isn't "kefir/yogurt" dairy? That would be bad for me. maybe try that..

for my last flare I did a lot of "low residue diet", sashimi n white rice was just about all i could hold inside

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 18083
   Posted 9/13/2011 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
"How do you stop a flare in it's tracks?" I think that's the million dollar question LOL! Unfortunately IBD seems to have a mind of it's own and although I myself have found "some" relief, it's pretty hard to fight completely against what the disease decides it wants to do at any given moment.

I've had GI's over the years tell me that flares can last a day to weeks, to months, etc just like remission.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 9/13/2011 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Enemas.

Interesting that you don't have bleeding yet. That always comes before the "D" for me.
27 years old; diagnosed March 2007

Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa every other night; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Wellbutrin started 8/4

TooBusy4UC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 9/13/2011 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I wouldn't stop the aloe vera juice if it were me, but that's because it works wonders for me. How much are you taking daily? I take 3 tablespoons 3 times a day on an empty stomach (or as empty as it can be). And also l-glutamine powder once a day along with my lialda. Aloe vera is a healing agent but it takes time to heal things.
I do agree with the others, the dairy and protein shakes would kill me for sure....
I also take my 5ASA's at night and my supplements in the morning and after lunch and dinner... so the lialda has the whole night to itself :)
Diagnosed: April 2011 UC; moderate

Currently taking: Lialda 1.2g X 4 daily, Prenatal vitamin, Folic acid 400mcg, Bioten 1000mcg, B complex, Ambien
Started Lily of the Desert Stomach Formula June 2011, and August 2011 added L-Glutamine powder....
Very few bad days these days!

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 9/13/2011 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
With fecal transplantation. It stopped my flare in its tracks, literally!
In remission.
What works for me: Fecal transplantation, Probiotics, Anti-inflammatory foods, No HFCS, No crystalline fructose, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, vitamins & supplements, Lexapro (for stress).

Ju330
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 9/13/2011 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for the replies.

The only dairy I'm eating now is the yogurt, which I've figured out over the years doesn't seem to hurt me. Milk and cheese, however- agh! Don't know why that is... I might try cutting out the yogurt again, though, and see if there's any change.

Just started the protein shakes a few days ago, and not really seeing any difference either way, honestly. I just thought it would be a good way to get some nutrients in me. I've heard a lot about spinach being good for UC patients, so I tried that last week... it went through pretty much completely undigested; guess I'm not one of the people it helps. :(

I've asked my doctor about enemas before, and his response was that the UC was so severe/affecting my entire colon, that they wouldn't do much good. I'm going to ask again though- I called but didn't get to talk to him today. Otherwise... I know prednisone would help me, I just hate being on it! I have a bottle in the back of a drawer somewhere, though... haha.

Haha, how to stop a flare certainly IS the million dollar question! Just thought I'd throw it out there one more time, lol.

Oh- I was taking two tablespoons of the Aloe Vera twice a day, before breakfast and before dinner, but today I started 1/2 a cup twice a day. Maybe that will help some.
Diagnosed with "moderate to severe" ulcerative colitis, affecting the entire colon, in 2000.
I have taken... sulfasalzine, prednisone, 6mp, entocort, Pentasa, Humira, Asacol, Remicade.

Currently: On Asacol, 6 tabs/twice a day, Remicade infusion every six weeks, fish oil, iron, vitamin D, probiotics, aloe vera (George's), multivitamin.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 18083
   Posted 9/13/2011 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
There isn't lactose in yogurt, there is in milk and cheeses so you likely have a lactose intolerance issue (you can be tested for it to confirm)...there's also varying degrees of lactose intolerance....enemas won't do much unless you're having proctitis issues as enemas really don't reach far enough into the colon to do any good.

Feel better soon!
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~

Dr-A
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2060
   Posted 9/13/2011 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
aguywithuc said...
I just eat sunflower seeds, drink lots of water and eat salmon, spinach. Psyllium seed powder.


Seems to help me also. I add in sunbutter too.

Doesn't STOP a flare, but it does help reduce the effects for me.

journey2health
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2687
   Posted 9/13/2011 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Ju330, the thing with rectal enema meds is that they reach an area that's stubborn about healing. The orals don't hit it like the enemas do. The flare starts in the rectum and ends in the rectum. It may affect the whole colon, but it helps to stop a flare if you treat the rectum specifically in addition to your other approaches.
In remission --pancolitis since 8/09. 3200 mg, Asacol, Canasa or Rowasa daily, Probiotic -RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care, vitamins, calcium, l-acetyl carnitine. Limit dairy, red meat, citrus, sugar, NO alcohol. Bipolar/anxiety/depression: lamictal 200 mg, Lexapro 10 mg; wellbutrin 75 mg, Sleep-(ZMA) zinc-magnesium-B6, occasional Zyprexa 2.5 mg.

fruitgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6931
   Posted 9/13/2011 8:16 PM (GMT -7)   
That's a huge load of crap that enemas don't help people with pancolitis. I was diagnosed with pancolitis, and was in a pretty nasty flare at the time (15-20 crazy urgent episodes of diarrhea a day, significant weight loss, etc). My GI started me on Asacol alone, then we added the enemas a week later, after very marginal improvement from the Asacol. The enemas made a HUGE difference immediately.

Sure, the enemas can't treat the entire colon, but the do an awesome job at treating the portion they can reach. My old GI said it's too bad that the enemas can't reach the entire colon, as they are so effective.
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, multivitamin.  Used prednisone (starting dose 40 mg) to get into remission.
 
 

puffed rice
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 9/13/2011 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I totally agree with the enemas, my colitis is throughout the colon and the only things that I use is mezavant(oral), hycort enemas and cortifoam.
 
If you can listen to your body and treat the symptoms as they start you can control your flares so much better.
 
For me once the gurgling in my stomach starts, I know a flare is coming  so the enemas start immediately.
Mezavant tablets 4 once daily 4.8g
hycort enemas when needed/vitamin E enema
Cortifoam when needed
BIo-k and UltimateFlora Critical care Probiotics daily
metamucil nightly

beachlife
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 9/13/2011 11:16 PM (GMT -7)   
also concur on the enema's. I have proctitis, which is at the rectum area, so of course Canasa and Enema's help, but even when I had pan-colitis, the enema's would help! I would prop my body on a few pillows my rectum was higher than my abdomen area , so the mesalamine would run from the rectum through the colon. It helped. Wasn't the most comfortable, but I'd stay as long as I could reading a book
Blogging UC:
http://lifewithcolitis.blogspot.com/
Vegan/Pescatarian - ish, , Yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine
'00 - UC - Proctitis
Lialda 4x/day(2+2)
Testim 1% - Testosterone
Vit D 50,000 ICU/week
VSL#3

journey2health
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2687
   Posted 9/14/2011 12:52 AM (GMT -7)   
beachlife, I'm confused. You see you have proctitis, but once had pancolitis. Don't you still have pancolitis, but it's in remission all except the rectum.

I was diagnosed with Pancolitis and my next doc said I never had it, just proctitis. I told him that's crazy. The asacol must be doing it's job except in the rectum where I need the canasa and rowasa.

It would be odd to say your pancolitis is cured and your UC is just limited, wouldn't it?
In remission --pancolitis since 8/09. 3200 mg, Asacol, Canasa or Rowasa daily, Probiotic -RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care, vitamins, calcium, l-acetyl carnitine. Limit dairy, red meat, citrus, sugar, NO alcohol. Bipolar/anxiety/depression: lamictal 200 mg, Lexapro 10 mg; wellbutrin 75 mg, Sleep-(ZMA) zinc-magnesium-B6, occasional Zyprexa 2.5 mg.

UC Veteran
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/14/2011 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I wanted to share how I successfully ended my last flare. It started while I was in the hospital for a liver problem. It was bad. I was put on prednisone for a month and tapered for a month. Shortly after I finished the taper, the bleeding started again. Prednisone is just like a bandage not a cure for me.

I read a study that concluded using oral Asacol and Mesalamine enemas together had a better remission rate than prednisone. So I tried them. I could tell by the stool that my bleeding was further up than the enema would go. So, I decided to try one enema diluted with distilled water in equal parts into two bottles. (i washed an empty one for the second one) I put the liquid from both bottles in and held it as long as I could. It will cramp, but if you let the cramp past it will ease. At first I could only hold it in a short time because of the cramping, maybe an hour. I did this for 6 weeks every night. After just a few days, I could keep it in half the night. The bleeding stopped after about a week. As the weeks went by, I could keep it in all night. Eventually, it would all be absorbed and I knew the inflammation was gone.

After 6 weeks, I tried every other night for a while. Then every 3 days for while. Now I use one 2 times a week to maintain. I have been cautious about stopping it completely and may use it 2 times a week for several more months.

I can use the enemas not and it will be absorbed in about an hour and I could get up and have nothing come out. Success! As I understand it, the colon's job is to absorb water, but when you are so inflamed it can't, thus diarrhea.

I hope this helps someone. It was a miracle for me. I am feeling good again

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 9/14/2011 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Ju330 said...
I've asked my doctor about enemas before, and his response was that the UC was so severe/affecting my entire colon, that they wouldn't do much good. I'm going to ask again though- I called but didn't get to talk to him today.
 
My UC was severe when first diagnosed and Asacol and Rowasa enemas put me in remission. It's worth a shot.

hekela
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 9/14/2011 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like you've got some good suggestions here to try.
On the slippery elm, I take mine at the end of the day or late afternoon so they don't affect my other meds/supplements. It has worked well for me.
32, happily married, stay at home mom to boys, ages 2 & 5.
currently: well
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), dx'd 2006
-mainly whole foods diet, no caffeine
-Prayer! Asacol, Slippery Elm, D3, nicotine (e-cig), psyllium husk powder, fennel after meals

Ju330
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 9/15/2011 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, all, for the responses. I'm trying a few things here and there... I'll let you know if I find a miracle fix. ;) Sigh...
Diagnosed with "moderate to severe" ulcerative colitis, affecting the entire colon, in 2000.
I have taken... sulfasalzine, prednisone, 6mp, entocort, Pentasa, Humira, Asacol, Remicade.

Currently: On Asacol, 6 tabs/twice a day, Remicade infusion every six weeks, fish oil, iron, vitamin D, probiotics, aloe vera (George's), multivitamin.

Peace&Harmony
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1121
   Posted 9/16/2011 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
beachlife said...
isn't "kefir/yogurt" dairy? That would be bad for me. maybe try that..

for my last flare I did a lot of "low residue diet", sashimi n white rice was just about all i could hold inside


Kefir is about 99% lactose free. You can also get yogurt made with almond or coconut milk if you want dairy free.
Diagnosed July 2010
flaring as Jan 2010
As of 5/25/2011 procitis is now pancolitis!!
Pred 40mg, started 6/4/2011, tapering
Transdermal LDN 4.5 mg 4/23/2011
Energy Multi-Plex / Vital-Zymes Complete / Microgestin (birth control), Magnesium for leg cramps / ALA 300mg / Vit B-12 shots 2.5g every week / Budesonide Enemas / Apriso / Entocort EC

aguywithuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2548
   Posted 9/17/2011 12:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I have stopped the shakes, I might have one day but I aim for solid food. Solid food is slow food. Shakes move thru the GI system faster.

If I get into trouble I cut out all convenience foods and follow what I listed above. I have been getting just a few hours sleep at night for weeks buy hydrating and trying to eat solid food but I also have a very wide diet right now. It has been 13 months since a flare and monday will be 1 year since a flare-induced thrombosis by way of medication and the IBD thrombosis link.

I usually flare at summers end but this year I hyrdrated and followed my formula plus daily turmeric/curcumin. The only processed food I eat are high fiber pop tarts from a natural brand and various pre-workout powders to keep going and perk up after little or no sleep.

For me thats they key, healing foods, natural foods, hydration. No alchool no dairy.

Pine Tree
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/17/2011 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Ju330 ~

For, what's worked best to stop a flare-up in its tracks is pretty strong changes in my diet. For my body (and I want to say, I think that different things work for different folks with colitis, b/c we have different bodies and the colitis - while a common SYMPTOM we all share - may be due to a constellation of different CAUSES in each individual) - SO - for my body the GAPS Diet (similar to SCD, but with a few key distinctions) has been the most supportive.

One of the main differences to the SCD is that the GAPS protocol involves a gradual, phased process of working with the most basic, easy to digest foods and then building up to a broader variety.

So - for stopping a flare cold in its tracks: (like, I mean within 24-48 hours I see clear results), begin by eating only the following: Meat soups with simple, well-cooked veggies like onions, carrots, celery, garlic. I like chicken soup with bone stock. It's pretty boring after a day or so, but try to do this for 3 days or until the diarrhea has begun to subside. Then add in a little raw egg-yolk to your soups and see how that's tolerated. Try that for a day or so. Then mashed avacado. Then cooked eggs. This may take a total of 4-5 days or up to one week depending on how bad your flare-up is.

From there, you can slowly begin to add it other foods on the diet. Refer to the GAPS diet website (I think you can google it).

Hope this helps!

(BTW- "GAPS" stands for "gut and pyschology syndrome" and is based upon some very interesting research made popular and furthered by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.)

I don't do any diary b/c my gut still won't tolerate it well.
UC-diagnosis, 2002
Off all med's since 2008, symptom free
GAPS Diet, Mutaflor 2xDaily, Biokult
Supervising Physician: Dr. Thomas Cowan (SF, CA)
Also, currently: Tibetan Herbs

aguywithuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2548
   Posted 9/17/2011 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Anagarika said...
Dear Ju330 ~

For, what's worked best to stop a flare-up in its tracks is pretty strong changes in my diet. For my body (and I want to say, I think that different things work for different folks with colitis, b/c we have different bodies and the colitis - while a common SYMPTOM we all share - may be due to a constellation of different CAUSES in each individual) - SO - for my body the GAPS Diet (similar to SCD, but with a few key distinctions) has been the most supportive.


Never worked for me. Once again I do the opposite - I give my body solid food that takes time to digest, the slowed transit time restores normalcy.
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