Pain or no pain with your UC?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/18/2008 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I seem to be in a minority of people who actually experience no pain, even when their symptoms are at their worst. Even when I'm going about a dozen times a day, with loose, bloody stool I still experience no pain. I'm thankful yes, but also curious about others who may have a similar experience. Pain is such a primary symptom of UC that I'm a little confused by this and actually, so are my doctors. I can't help but wonder if this symptom (of lack thereof) might indicate the best treatment or maybe what type of UC I have or if I actually have something other than UC.

Any comments? Thanks so much.

Silent Lucidity
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 625
   Posted 4/18/2008 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I most definitely have UC and am also fortunate enough not to get any pain,or at least only in one out of every so many attacks.
Procto-Sigmoiditis dx 1995.First Colonoscopy in ten years,on 29th Feb 2008,revealed moderate to severe Pancolitis.
Current meds;Pred,6 week tapered dose,starting at 40mg.Pentasa 2 x 500mg 4 x daily.
Got Ryche?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 4/18/2008 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I have different experiences with different flares....they each have their own 'personalities'
Diagnosed with Crohns/Colitis in 2004. Currently taking Azulfidine 500 mg/3 x 3 day, Synthroid. Have had joint complications such as pyroderma gangrenosum in ankles as complication of IBD.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/18/2008 4:22 PM (GMT -6)   
It does seem a little different for me. My UC is either fully under control or I'm in a prolonged period of suffering, but I've never had on and off again flares. Also, regardless of how bad it gets it never is painful.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 4/18/2008 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Mellie said...
I have different experiences with different flares....they each have their own 'personalities'

I agree.  This current flare I'm having is more painful.  I don't usually have these cramps when in a flare.  Now I know why on the movie "Amazing Grace" William Wilberforce would fall to his knees in pain. :(
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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1614
   Posted 4/18/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Usually, I have no pain. Mine is more nausea
Diagnosed July 2005 with Pancolitis
Asacol 4 tabs 3 times daily
Diosmin(for leg and vein support)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 4/18/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was flaring my worst, going 25 times a day, bleeding and limp as a wet towel, I didn't have much pain. As I got better, the pain started. In a mild or moderate flare I had pain; in a very severe one no pain. Go figure, eh?
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.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 4/18/2008 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   

I had severe disease which resulted in surgery and had no pain.  This always baffled my GI and he could never understand why I didn't have pain with UC.


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

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/18/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Even with pretty severe bleeding, I've (extremely luckily) never experienced any pain. This always has made me wonder how the underlying organic cause of UC differs from patient to patient. To what extent are the symptoms we experience a function of our different genetic makeups, the trigger which initially causes the colitis, and other factors, such as the particular intestinal flora we possess or long-term dietary considerations? Certainly a noteworthy aspect of UC is the wide variation in symptoms and treatment efficacy between patients. If there was a better analysis of the underlying factors, would treatment be more specific to each person? Even the Prometheus test is not as specific a diagnostic tool as one might hope - though it still seems to be the best available - which suggests that there is plenty of room for improvements in diagnosis, to provide a more precise identification than simply 'ulcerative colitis' and, ideally, to provide better treatment.


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 4/18/2008 10:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Mellie said...
I have different experiences with different flares....they each have their own 'personalities'

LOL  this is exactly what my GI said about uc flares!!  
41 yo RN, happily married, with 2 beautiful daughters, Tianna(14 yo) and Alyssa(10 yo).   Diagnosed L sided Ulcerative Colitis in Jan '04 and Diabetes type 2 in June '05.
Remicade infusions ~ 11/6/07, 12/6/07, 12/20/07, 2/14/08,  6-MP 100mg daily, Pentasa 500mg twice a day, prednisone 20mg 10mg 5mg daily, Nexium 40mg twice a day, Lantus insulin 45 35 25 20 units daily, Novolog 10 8 5 units with sliding scale at meals, Amaryl 2mg daily, multi-vitamin daily, Calcium daily, B complex vit daily,  and pro-biotics daily.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 4/18/2008 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I had lots of pain
Asacol 4 tabs 2x daily
Forvia once a day - Probiotic twice daily - Methotrexate 3 pills once a week - Actonel once a week
Calcium supp. - 1 mg Folic Acid daily - Omega-3 once daily
13th Remicade infusion End of April

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30230
   Posted 4/19/2008 12:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I have gut spasming, painful gas and rectal pain/throbbing when flaring. Much of the pain is during bms...the white-knuckling pain while trying to expell a bit of stool or mucus that feels the size of a watermelon.
Before the rectal meds do their thing...I have the rectal throbbing between bms (dicyclomine helps a lot).

I much prefer to have diarrhea during flares than more formed stool. Easier going through an inflamed rectum and raw anus. But since I treat early at first symptoms....there is usually more formed stool than diarrhea.

My doctor stated that sometimes inflammation and pain don't match....remember that IBS has no inflammation but people can suffer terrbly with pain and discomfort. Many of us has IBS as well as UC.

Count your blessings.

Be well,
*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 !!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 4/19/2008 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't have pain either at first, then it slowly crept in with time. I was in a constant flare for a year until I had my colon removed. The first 4-5 months, I didn't experience any pain at all. This unfortunately didn't last and became gradually worse to almost unbearable 9-12 months into the ordeal. It puzzled my doctors as well. Hope you never have to experience it.
Age 0 to 30 - 100% healthy, no meds, no doctor visits, no hospital stays
Oct. 2006 - Symptoms of UC began
3/5/2007 - Diagnosed with UC - Pancolitis (entire colon involved)
20mg-40mg/day Prednisone, 4.8 g/day Asacol - didn't work at all
10/12/2007 - Steroid Induced Osteoporosis from Prednisone and Anemic
add Actonel (75mgx2 pills/month) and daily Iron Pills
2/12/2008 - open Subtotal Colectomy with Temporary Ileostomy Surgery
Off all meds except Actonel and feel normal again
Aug. 2008 - J-Pouch Surgery and possible Ileo Reversal Surgery Scheduled
"When life gives you lemons...make lemonade"

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 4/19/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
It really does seem that everyones UC manifests differently.  I had no pain with UC for the first 4 years.  In fact I also had no D, no urgency, no increased frequency trips to the bathroom.  My only symptom was blood.  I think my GI was shocked to find UC after my first colonscopy based on what few symptoms I had. He kept asking me are you sure you havent had any pain, or D?  But after 4 years of the disease lieing somewhat dormant I had a terrible flare - and did experience pain then for a few weeks.

36 year old female with left-sided UC
400 mg Asacol 4 pills 3 times/day lialda 1 pill 3 times/day
making some very light attempts using Rowasa enemas just cant seem to do these
iron supplements 3 times 1/day
multi-vitamin 1/day
Digestive Advantage Colitis formula 1/day

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 304
   Posted 4/19/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
With my UC, I have pain, a dull ache, but no D and no blood, most of the time.

With my IBS, I have cramping and painful, loose BMs.
  • Pancolitis since 5/06 at age 50, IBS since childhood
  • Degenerative Disc Disease/Spinal Stenosis - L4 and L5
  • Prescribed: Asacol, Atenolol, Zoloft, Synthroid, Menest
  • Prescribed: Xanax & Hydrocodone as needed
  • OTC:  Probiotic 15-35, Multi Vitamin, B Complex, Turmeric, Fish Oil, Biotin

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 4/19/2008 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
This is very interesting. I always have severe constant pain during a flare-up.

Diagnosed with indeterminate colitis in 1992
current meds
4 asacol 3x's a day
Rowasa enemas as needed
Bunches of vitamins

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/19/2008 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I have crohns-colitis (CD affecting my colon) with basically no abdominal pain in my entire 17 yrs of flaring to some degree (for the most part, severe to moderate)...I had issues with lower back pain but the bee propolis aided me with that, among many other symptoms of my IBD.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 4/20/2008 1:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I too don't normally get any pain or ill feeling. The only side effect I get is the bloody diarrhea and feeling a bit tired.

When I was in hospital for UC the surgeon and gastro doc were recommending surgery I kept arguing that I felt fine.

We went round in circles every day with me saying "I feel fine, I'd be sitting at work right now if you'd just discharge me!"
and them saying, "you're not fine, you're very seriously ill!"

I was having ex-rays twice a day on my abdomen and blood tests four times a day checking my inflammation levels as they were very worried about the toxic mega colon.

I have acute pan-colitis so I don't think there's any relationship between the type or severity of UC and the presence of pain. I have no idea why though! :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 714
   Posted 4/20/2008 3:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I've never ever had pain with my UC. In the midst of severe UC my colon and stomach were fine physcially. The doctors spent a day tapping my colon, eventually quite hard, and I felt nothing. I've never had cramps with UC either.
Asacol and Iron as Needed. <I've fallen back into unhealthy ways and really enjoying it, burb!>
"Whatever you do in life don't berate yourself too much nor contragulate yourself too much. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody elses'"

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 4/21/2008 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
My flares have all been different. The first one, which has been the worst so far, no pain, lots of blood, mucous and urgency. Second, the shortest in duration, I had the greatest pain. The current seems to be inbetween the first two.
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.
Started Meds:  Apr 9 08 500mg 5ASA (salofalk) to ease flare.
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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/21/2008 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I have lots of pain. Usually just the left side but this flare began with right sided pain. That's originally what made me go to the GI lots of pain and some D. The right sided pain turned out to be pancolitis and the wornsening left sided pain was strictures. I have chronic pain. usually it's only a 3 or 4 out of ten (to me this is livable pain, i can still go about my day) but when in full flare (25x bms, blood,) i am usually curled into a ball unable to speak and end up throwing up from pain.
Kelly, 30

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, 5mg pred, 150mg Imuran
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran twice daily for nausea, darvocet for pain
Remicade started 3/1/08...just had 3rd infusion

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 4/21/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I usually have very acute cramping pain.Especially around my lower abdomen and groin area.This flare i've had a lot of intense cramps and really bad backpain.
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/pred/colofac


Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 4/21/2008 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I never have pain either, even when I'm bleeding like crazy and going 20 times a day.  Sometimes I'll have some bad cramping while I'm actually going to the bathroom but it goes away as soon as I'm done in the potty.  My GI always questions me like crazy about not having pain...go figure!

Female, Age 37
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03
Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
75mg 6-MP
Cortenema as needed
Ferrex Forte
Sacchromyces Boulardii 

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 4/22/2008 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
The only time I had really bad pain is when I had an absess on my lower left side.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 4/23/2008 6:07 AM (GMT -6)   
No pain either. a little pressure on the left side. I think the poo is moving down to rectum, but that is all. I wondered why the dr. asked me how long I had been "sick"...I felt fine...except for the 20+ times a day in the bathroom with mucus and blood and urgency. I went for a year or more with just blood and mucus and bathroom urgency only after eating. I could handle that...but not the 20+ times. LOL
 DX: 1993: sulfasalazine; 1998: Pancolitis UC. asacal 2 2X daily, cortifoam,; 2003: Protitis UC severe flare. asaca 2 2X daily, canasa, cortifoam, cortenema
2008: Proctosigmoiditis severe flare. asacal 3 2X daily, canasa/discontinued while on pred, cortifoam/discontinued, Prednisone 40 mg to be tapered each week
Back on Prednisone 30 mg for 2 weeks then taper to 20 mg then we'll see. Back on Canasa at night.

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