Welcome to the forum.
I am sorry for your recent diagnosis.
I am just concerned about the treatment since he had the attitude that there is NO OTHER OPTION THAN MEDICATION, where I've heard that other people can manage it with diet. I don't like the idea of being on medication for the rest of my life - especially ones with such side effects.
Has anyone found alternatives to medication that work long term?
I've had to find my own alternative protocol - a combination of diet, supplements, and also taking LDN - low dose naltrexone (medication which is cheap, and no side effects, and works!).
Anyway, I would like to share my list with you in the hopes that these things will help you as well.
Here's what's worked for me:
1) Diet is key for me: I do the Paleo diet, and I am very, very careful with food combining, because if you mis-combine it creates havoc! Here's some info on it: http://cureforulcerativecolitis.com/step-1-methodology-to-eating
2) Adding L-Glutamine powder 5 grams - for colonic repair. If you're having issues with urgency and diarrhea, then you'll need to take L-Glutamine powder 1 teaspoon mixed in a little water on an empty stomach, and that should alleviate your symptoms alot.
3) Adding slippery elm bark powder - 1 tablespoon mixed in a little water, 3-4 times a day - IMO it is the equivalent in nature to the 5asa's and works much more effectively than all the mesalamines without the side effects.
4) Probiotics are key. If you can get your doc to write you a prescription for VSL#3 DS - that would be better, stronger, and probably cheaper ( IMO 3 x per day at least) than buying VSL#3.
5) Drink lots of good water.
6) Get your vit. d and b12 blood work done, to see if you are deficient.
7) SCD diet - specific carbohydrate diet - many have had lots of success with it. If you can't do it because it's so strict, at the very least do dairy free, wheat free, gluten free. Personally, however I prefer the Paleo diet, because it is an anti-inflammatory diet - mostly veggies, salads,nuts, fish, lots of GRASS-fed animal products like lamb, beef, bison, and eggs, no grains at all. The whole basis of the diet is to concentrate on foods rich in healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6, which is ideally 1:1. Grain-fed animal products contain unhealthy ratio of 1:20 which causes and contributes to inflammation in the body, and therefore disease. Also grass-fed animal products contain important CLA, which you cannot get from any other source.
8) start a food journal and see what correlations come forth
9) There's a great app for keeping track of your symptoms, diet, meds, etc...
10) Do some research on LDN - low dose naltrexone, you can search this forum as they are several threads on this. I can tell you it works!
Here's the Penn State research done by Dr. Jill Smith with LDN and Crohns Patients.
11) Adding rectal meds. Are you on any rectal meds like canasa suppositories or rowesa enemas?
12) You may want to add liquid vitamins/minerals to make sure your stomach does not have to do the work of breaking them down, and hence not absorbing them.
13) Also, I've been supplementing with good quality whey protein - Dr. Mercola's Pro-Optimal Whey, which I make with almond milk ( you can see from my sig).
14) Astaxanthin is a great anti-inflammatory
What do you think?
Good luck, and I hope you start to feel better soon.
Let us know how we can help you.