Welcome to HealingWell, Fiona. Many of our female members do see a relationship between monthly cycles and flares, and we have several members who have had successful pregnancies while taking meds for UC. Some report decreased flaring, others increased during the pregnancy. Asacol and Prednisone are generally agreed to be safe during pregnancy, and I believe Imuran is also considered safe by most.
Likewise, I'm sure you'll have as many different answers on the diet as there are members here. As for me, I completely avoid spicy, high-fat, high fiber foods during a flare and eat them carefully when in remission. Many people find their flares are worsened by dairy products, sugar and other foods. It seems we each respond differently.
I'm wondering why your regimen doesn't include Rowasa. Since flares start in the rectum and advance from there, and oral meds don't reach the procto-sigmoid area, mesalamine enemas are a part of the treatment strategy for most people here. Also, I notice you're taking 1000 mg. of calcium at a time; based on what I've read, your body won't absorb more than about
500 mg. taken at one time, and the additional is just excreted in the stool.
I would recommend a good probiotic be added to your regimen. Most of our members find they help, and research is showing more and more that they help promote colon health in IBD. VSL#3 has been proven to help, but is fairly expensive. A lot of our members take Culturelle or Primadophilus Reuteri from Nature's Way. There are others, which I'm sure people will mention for you.
Finally, I hope you've sought out a new GI. My first GI basically told me it was the best he could do when I was still having 10-15 stools a day, bleeding and pain. He never went beyond the basics - 5-ASA's, Imuran and Pred. I changed GI's, found one who actually cared that I was still sick, and now I'm in remission. There's no reason to continue seeing a doctor who isn't providing the care you need.
Again, welcome to the forum. I think you'll find the people here helpful and supportive.
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.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
The information I share on this forum is based only on my own experience and study. It is important to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.