severity of UC decreases with age???

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1028
   Posted 4/9/2008 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I went to my acupuncturist guy a couple of days ago and we were talking about my symptoms and I told him that I think my symptoms are totally hormone related.  That my first symptoms started right after I started the pill.  He told me that you usually get UC in your teen years or during menopause years....(men too, early teens or around 55).  I agree with that, then he said that if you get it in your early teens the severity of the disease will decrease over time.  As your hormones decrease with age, so will your UC symptoms.  Has anyone ever heard of this?????  I would love to believe this is true, but I have never heard of such a thing.  Anyone????
diagnosed with left-sided UC in 1997. (45cm)
Currently on 10mg Prednisone
12 caps of colazal    9 caps Colazal
2 rowasa enemas nightly
35, female

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 4/9/2008 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't believe that is true. The severity of my disease increased with age as with many others I have met. I don't think there is anything predictable about this disease.

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 4/9/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
It does seem reasonable that it is hormone related.  It would be interesting to have a poll on the age the disease started.  I know my symptoms are worse during my period than any other time. 
It would be interesting to find out if anybody's symptoms disappeared after having a full hysterectomy. 
As for symptoms decreasing over time.  Not sure about that, may depend on the individuals hormone levels as they age.
Dx:  UC Proctitis 2006
Meds:  None so far. Garlic works to ease flares. My GI laughed when I told him and said it was just coincidence.
Diet:  Regular fresh garlic, Biobest yogurt daily, Omega 3 supplements, very limited junk food, carbs and processed food, low fat diet.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (limited potatoes). 
Added: tumeric and probiotics.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 4/9/2008 8:35 AM (GMT -6)   
My symptoms appeared several years after a total hysterectomy. And I've never seen anything saying that UC gets better as you get older. I think that's an opinion. It could be based on people complaining less as they get older because they're more used to the disease, or they've learned to manage it better?
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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 4/9/2008 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   
My GI doc told me the same thing.  I HOPE he's right!!!

Diagnosed Pancolitis 5/05.
Hospitalized 2/08 Severe Flare
Hospitalized 3/06 Severe Flare
Remicade - every 8 weeks
Imuran - 100 mg per day
Asacol - 9 pills per day

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/9/2008 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Mine became more stubborn as I got older, I wouldn't say harder though. When I was first diagnosed, my flares were pretty severe but responded well to meds. Now that I'm older, my body may not flare as severe as before but it takes more and more meds to make it respond. As for the hormone angle, my flares became more stubborn as I got older I believe due to my wacky hormones. I know that I had a heck of time getting my flares under control because as soon as I would hit a remission, I would start my period and then I would get thrown into a mini flare all over again. Since I had the endo ablation, that is no longer the case. I still get hormonal swings just not as severe as before.

Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 169
   Posted 4/9/2008 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
My father, who also has ulcerative colitis, hasn't had much symptoms for the past 15-20 years or so.  He has what I'd call more chronic diareah, where he rarely has solid stools, but can control it well.  He took prednisone early on when he first flared but no other meds that I know of.  He still gets annual colonoscopy because he's had polyps removed several times.  He is 65 now. 

Dx Left-sided UC Dec. 2006
Azathioprine 200mg/day
Prednisone 5/2.5 (trying to taper-started at 60 6/1)
Lialda 2/day
Multivitamin, B complex vit., fish oil, calcium, fiber supplement, probiotic, adrenal support

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/9/2008 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with UC when I was 50. I was in remission until 57 and has since had one flare after another.  Now I'm on Remicade. I'm not sure I belief the decrease with age thing.

Diagnosted in 1998 -- in remission till 2006
4x3 Asacol
60/75 mg  of 6mp 2007
Remicade 2008
Osteopenia 2008  70 mg Fosamox

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5187
   Posted 4/9/2008 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
That's one person's opinion. I don't think an IBD gastro would ever believe or say such a thing-- because they recognize that there is tremendous variability among IBD patients as to symptoms, extent of disease, and response to treatment. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 3 Colazal daily for maintenance of remission)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 4/9/2008 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Old Hat said...
That's one person's opinion. I don't think an IBD gastro would ever believe or say such a thing-- because they recognize that there is tremendous variability among IBD patients as to symptoms, extent of disease, and response to treatment. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 3 Colazal daily for maintenance of remission)

Exactly.  I wish it was true, though!  I feel I have gotten worse over time and require stronger meds now than ever to even see any relief but the next guy might say they had the opposite experience.  I have heard the disease can "burn out" in some people, but not many.  Wouldn't that be nice!?!
Diagnosed with Left-sided UC in 1995 at age 15, Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocort. Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Aloe Juice, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Anamantle, Remicade, etc... had 1 inch deep rectal ulcer 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed w/ Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Clorazepate, Lomotil,  Tylenol pm, Lyrica started 1/17/08, Flagyl 750 mgs started 4/2/08, Humira started 4/4/08

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/9/2008 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Unfortunately it doesn't necessarily work that way...

In the past few yrs, advanced genetic techniques have allowed scientists to discover at least 9 different gene clusters that contribute to the development of IBD and DEFINE THE SEVERITY AND BEHAVIOR of the disease over time.

My mom got UC in her mid 60's and at that point is was somewhat managable, she's 80 now and for the last 9 yrs her UC has been horrible, I mean "accidents" 4-6 times a day while she's at home.

Everyone is different for sure, but according to science our genes are in control of the behavior and severity more then we likely are...but I'm a firm believer in diet, supplements and regular exercise in helping manage symptoms better.


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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 4/9/2008 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
hmm, tell that to my colon please........ scool
started out w/proctosigmoiditis and now have pancolitis.
Beth, 32 ~ Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ in remission
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 20mg 1xday (taper 5mg a week from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalpril 10mg 1xday, Fursomide 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your protiens!
Pre-Diabetic from Prednisone use - Low carb/sugar diet & exercise.

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30854
   Posted 4/9/2008 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Since people who don't have UC can become fecally incontinent, it's always a risk with us as well....espcially if the rectum has become somewhat damaged from consistent inflammation. Hence my persistence of rectal meds.

I think your accupuncturist is spreading hopeful stories...not totally a bad thing, but maybe can happen as the best case scenario....but reality is what rules, regardless.

I do believe that hormones and UC in women are connected. I had a hysterectomy a few years after diagnosis...still flared but in NO WAY as bad as my initial that didn't stop them. Life crisis/situations still happened on the way. I am on a small dosage of estrogen....when I stopped it last year, I did flare...with some bleeding which was a first in over 15 years. Shocked the socks off of me.
My flares did improve vastly the first and second year with the use of my, I can't say the hysterectomy was the major help in dealing with my flares...but it would definitely have helped with the monthly ups and downs...especially since I also had endometriosis. 

I believe that keeping the colon as quiet as possible with the least amount of meds as possible is helpful in creating a more hopeful future with the least amount of side effects. Again, best case scenario.
As we age, our stressors actually increase rather than decrease...getting older requires a lot more energy and change FASTER than one can even anticipate. Those changes create a lot of anxiety and grief from loss and change of one's self.

I believe in setting up support for ourselves will lessen those stressors and in turn lessen the UC flare-ups. That could include exercise, family/friend interaction, postive experiences, daily stress reduction through having viable options available, questioning medications where there are other options, massage, accupunctue, etc.....

Remember....we don't know what will happen to us as we age...having UC only can increase the stress rather than lessen it. We never only have UC to deal with...many of us has extraintestinal disease/disorders to deal with. Some fatal.

I do hope that by maintaining the status quo as I age will create a better butt environment. Having lots of options available with hopefully will make it much easier and less bothersome. For me, distress is truly a factor for my body's reactions...has always been. I can only change myself so much...I have to accept that I cannot change everything. I'll definitely have a lot to deal with as I age.

GI docs can't even agree on dealing with UC....don't know how your accupuncturist knows all unless he has it or knows somewhat sho has it.

I would take the opportunity to fill him in on the realities and question his resources before accepting his statements as fact.


*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x 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 !!!

Post Edited (quincy) : 4/9/2008 1:41:18 PM (GMT-6)

potty girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 835
   Posted 4/9/2008 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I was dx with uc during menapause. my mom was dx several years after a hysterectomy.I think it is probably bad know matter what age you are.

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