Vicky I consider a flare if my symptoms last more than a week. I usually just think its the flu or something, but if it doesn't get better within a week I know I am starting to flare. My flares almost always start with the joint pain. I would say my flares usually have multiple things happening. Joint pain, nausea, D, fatigue and the wonderful pain.
I have started realizing that stress really effects my guts alot. When I feel like its getting out of control I will take 1/2 Valium and that helps to quiet things down again. Sometimes it will take the whole Valium, but its part of my life now.
Within time you learn to recognize what is what.
Hang in there friend!