Environmental Factors Causing Flare?

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dellmsft
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/24/2008 8:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, newly registered but have read this board a lot and have learned much from it. I had a flare for about a month or so. I was on 12 Asacol a day and was taking a Rowasa enema in the morning and at night. Symptoms of flare were mostly stomach cramping and blood and mucus in stool. So I went away for work to Florida for a week (I live in the Boston area) and within a couple of days, the mucus and blood were gone and remained gone for the next five days. I stopped the morning enema when I got there and my diet was worse than normal including glasses of wine some nights. I was with my boss every day so my stress level was as high as it normally is when I'm up North (this was not a vacation).

So I returned from Florida and had blood within the first couple of days again. My question is does anybody know of any environmental factors that may make someone with UC more susceptible to a flare. My immediate thoughts are that it would have something to do with the humidity or the warmer climate. I could tell that the rowasa enema was better absorbed when I had a BM in Florida whereas I can see more of the enema in the toilet after a BM since I've returned.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. It is very disconcerting to have the symptoms return after thinking they were gone.

lemonhead
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1028
   Posted 2/24/2008 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I went to Australia and I had the same thing,  I was pretty sick before I went, and felt great the entire time I was there.  Felt crummy when I got home.  Ate worse than normal there, but I think the food in general is healthier there.  The only difference was that I got a  lot of outside time there, and here it is too cold for that.  I always thought I should just move there, and then I could feel fine all the time.  I did have a doctor tell me that warm weather is good for UC.

diagnosed with left-sided UC in 1997.
Currently on 10mg Prednisone
12 caps of colazal
rowasa enema nightly
35 years old, white, female


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 2/24/2008 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
In addition to UC, I have inhalant allergies to pollen, mold, etc. My allergist/immunologist, GI and primary care doctor have all told me the same thing. They say exposure to allergens that trigger your immune system will also tend to excite any autoimmune diseases which are present. It makes sense to me. My immune system revs up from 10 to 100 overnight to deal with cedar pollen, it's probably going to affect my colon, too.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum


princesscolon
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 2/24/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I wonder if what helps is the traveling/being somewhere else and not the weather... I live in the tip of Texas, a very hot place (90 degrees yesterday). I have as much trouble with my UC as I did living in Michigan. Last time I went to MI when my Mom was ill and passed away, I had no flares the 2 weeks I was there and it was the most stressful time of my entire life. It was like 20 degrees out. When vacationing in Vegas, I only had a little bathroom trouble. I think there is a connection to the house tiolet and flares for me. Like ok, I'm home, time to poop now... If I get out of the house early in the morning, I usually have no urges to go to the bathroom (most the time). If I stay home all day, it seems like I can't stop pooping. Even if I get up and spend the morning out in my yard in the sun, I still have to run to the bathroom.
Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15, Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocort. Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Anamantle, etc... had almost recto-vaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed w/ Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Remicade 700mgs every 6 wks (had reaction, will start Humira Feb 11) Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil,  Tylenol pm, Lyrica for Fibromyalgia started 1/17/08


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 2/24/2008 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Princesscolon, I think you may be on to something. I vaguely remember when I was in college (about a millineum ago) hearing about a "social inhibition reflex" that helped people not have to go in awkward situations - like unfamiliar places, at work, etc. I'm convinced that some of this remains intact in me even in a moderate flare, because I'll do just as you said - go several hours then start feeling the urge as I pull in the driveway.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum


AshNH
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 2/24/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I also have noticed similar about having more BMs at home, as opposed to being at work, etc. So that makes sense to me. I think my initial flare occurred due to a massive allergic reaction while visiting a friend, who has a cat. But who knows..
Ash 39 NH, vegetarian
Current meds: Asacol 12/day, Imuran 150mg
L-glutamine, Coconut Water, Rowasa(as needed)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30835
   Posted 2/24/2008 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi dellmsft..welcome to the forum!

I think there are lots of things that will affect us while we're flaring...consider that the colon is in a very fragile state and it takes a while to heal.

My initial thought based on experience is that you should have tapered the morning Rowasa and not stopped them completely.

You can taper them fairly quickly, however....

I would suggest you add a morning Rowasa every second morning or even every third morning and in between do the Canasa suppository.

Is your UC thoughout your colon or limited?

You've just had a bit of a setback....starting over regarding your meds should get you back on track.

Hope you feel better soon.

quincy
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....bromelain 1 - 2x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/24/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Several environmental factors, such as infections, are suspected of triggering UC in people who have a genetic susceptibility. However, no single factor has been consistently proven to be the primary trigger. The bacteria that normally live in the colon also have an important role in the development of the disease, since animals at risk for UC do not develop it when raised in a bacteria-free environment.

For unknown reasons, ulcerative colitis is more common in people who live in northern climates and in developed countries, such as North America, Great Britain, and Scandinavia, compared to those who live in southern climates or developing countries. In two areas (Minnesota and northern Norway), approximately 13 to 15 people out of every 100,000 have UC. UC affects men and women equally. The peak incidence of UC occurs between the ages of 15 and 30.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


kim123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 2/24/2008 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
My thoughts....it could be due to the environment, or just a coincidence. Have you travelled before and felt better? Maybe your house or place of work has unseen mold/mildew. I'm thinking for me that my UC symptoms started after moving into a house with previous water damage. Wasn't "THE" factor, but may have been a trigger. Mold can do a lot of damage to our health. Maybe those in the north are more susceptible because they are confined to enclosed spaces with closed windows. As well, one's furnace is shut off through the summer collecting mold, and then is cranked on again in the fall. Who knows?? All is speculation, of course, but I believe mold is often an unseen guest and problem in our home or workplace.

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4509
   Posted 2/24/2008 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Some very interesting posts here. Great topic. Like Kim, I got UC after living in a moldy apartment for about a year and a half...not sure if that factored into my getting it, but it makes me wonder. I'm still living there now, but think I got most, if not all, of the mold taken care of. Sometimes I feel better when I travel, but sometimes not. I also live in a very cold climate and first got UC symptoms last year in January when it was bitterly cold. I started having increased symptoms again around the same time this year. I seem to feel better overall in warm weather.

princess and Judy bring up interesting points to consider, too. I often feel like I have more BMs when I'm at home. On the weekends I usually go at least 4-5 times, but during weekdays it's usually a bit less. I always wondered why that was, but your theories make sense. I always wondered if it was because my schedule changed, too, since I sleep in on the weekends and stay up late. I never knew about the relation of flare ups to allergies, but that definitely makes sense.
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - daily
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D)


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/24/2008 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I wish it worked that way for me...if I had less BM's away from home, I'd never be home LOL!


:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 2/24/2008 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
kim123 said...
Maybe your house or place of work has unseen mold/mildew. I'm thinking for me that my UC symptoms started after moving into a house with previous water damage. Wasn't "THE" factor, but may have been a trigger. Mold can do a lot of damage to our health.
Same here. I'd had IBS off and on over the years but my digestive health took a severe downturn and I was diagnosed with UC while living in a house that had significant water damage in the crawlspace before we bought it and I believe had some serious mold issues.
To the OP, if you were out in the sun more in Florida - even just a few minutes a day - that might have made a difference because of the Vitamin D link to UC.

Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Therapeutic dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal.
 
 


BTC
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 2/24/2008 10:40 PM (GMT -6)   

Wow, this is an exciting thread. My nine year remission was when I was in VA and went to a fantastic allergy clinic and had allergy shots. I haven't had any since moving to NJ and I know mold is my worst trigger. More research tomorrow!

Diagnosed with LS UC 1984, suffered for 16 years, high doses Pred and eased off to Azulfidine; remission for 9 years, just flared recently.Heading into remission again with addition of: prayer, deep breathing, walks on the beach and: 3 Asacol 3 x day with 3 Vitamin Shoppe Ultimate 10 Probiotic; 20 mg. Prednisone; 4-1000 mg.garlic twice daily; 2 zyflamend twice daily, SuperFoods RX multi-whole food vita twice daily, SuperFoods RX Omega 3;; Metamucil morning and night - no dairy, hardly any coffee (Just added Hevla decaf), lots of water with lemon and green tea. Recently added: 1 scoop Greensplus Chia seeds and the vinegar and honey regimen. Added Culturelle, Ruteri and L-Glutamine


Yujin
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/25/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
princesscolon said...
I wonder if what helps is the traveling/being somewhere else and not the weather... I live in the tip of Texas, a very hot place (90 degrees yesterday). I have as much trouble with my UC as I did living in Michigan. Last time I went to MI when my Mom was ill and passed away, I had no flares the 2 weeks I was there and it was the most stressful time of my entire life. It was like 20 degrees out. When vacationing in Vegas, I only had a little bathroom trouble. I think there is a connection to the house tiolet and flares for me. Like ok, I'm home, time to poop now... If I get out of the house early in the morning, I usually have no urges to go to the bathroom (most the time). If I stay home all day, it seems like I can't stop pooping. Even if I get up and spend the morning out in my yard in the sun, I still have to run to the bathroom.



I Agree...!!! same with me... when im at home... i always go to the toilet but when im in the office, theres no urges to go to the bathroom...
Diagnosed with UC on 2007. Undergone Fistulotomy on 2005. Taking Generic Asacol 400mg 3X a day... "HEALTH IS WEALTH"


dellmsft
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/26/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the responses.  I have been trying to figure out what the differences are between Florida and here.  The obvious ones are humidity and sun, and I did read a little about Vitamin D supplements and that they might reduce inflammation.  Maybe it's sunlight and not humidity (or maybe it's both)  It just seemed to be such a marked difference to be merely a coincidence.  There's so many different factors involved that it becomes a little overwhelming trying to figure them all out. 
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