I have consistently refused prednisone. (There have been moments where I'd thought I'd cave, but so far I haven't.) My personal philosophy is to manage uc with 5-ASAs. If that can't be done, then it's time for the colon to go.
My colitis is mild to moderate, based on most measures. 4-5 bowels movements a day, currently very little blood (but I was bleeding like a stuck pig in May), some cramping, little urgency. My problem areas are high in the colon.
My doctor is fond of telling me all the horrible things I'm doing to myself by continuing to refuse steroids. Among the many possibilities he gives are that continued inflammation equals higher cancer risk. The connection, though, between inflammation and cancer is not iron clad. He is also concerned about fistulas. He likes to think my fatigue is associated with inflammation.
I would rather live with the symptoms of uc than the side effects of prednisone, but that's just me. In my case, switching 5-ASAs has made huge improvments and if I had taken steroids a year ago when my doctor first started pushing them, I hate to think how many cycles I'd have gone through before we realized the 5-ASA wasn't working. . . .
So far, the worst problem with refusing prednisone is that my doctor has brsuhed off some of my complaints, like fatigue. I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet -- in a couple of days I will -- but recent bloodwork shows an abnormality that explains the fatigue. If only he had listened to me 6-8 months ago when it started to get worse, I might not be as exhausted as I am now. Instead of ordering this bloodwork then, he pushed the pred. Again.