Flare-up advice..

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 8/18/2008 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
So right now Im having a little flare up but doing much better than last week. My doctor put me on Flagyl bc she thought I might have C-Diff as a result of taking an antibiotic for an absessed tooth. Has anyone taken an antibiotic and it resulted in a flare up? And if so, how long til the flare up goes away..Im starting my senior year in high school in like 8 days and everythings getting worse it seems. Just wondering when everythings going to go back to normal. Thank you guys for the help. Your amazing =]
  Oh and what are some good bland foods to eat when in a flare?
Katrina, Senior in high school! =]
Dx with UC March 18,2008
Methotrexate shot once/weekly
15mg Prednisone,Iron,Multivitamin,Folic Acid
Recently taking Flagyl in case of having C-Diff
"I can drop bombs with the best of them"
   hahah Can't we all?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 8/18/2008 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I was just reading how you need to be careful when taking antibiotics with UC. The antibiotics can kill both the good and bad bacteria in your intestines and when the good are killed off, the bad are left to do their thing...hence you may have a worse flare as a result. Many people without UC will get diarhea when on antibiotics. I know both of my kids do whenever their on any form of antibiotic.

Good luck figuring it all out and hope you feel better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 8/18/2008 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you tried taking a probiotic to replace the "good" bugs the antibiotic killed off?

There are several threads on what a good probiotic is.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia (hip and spine) diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Remission?!?!?
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Remicade: 1st infusion 06/17/08:  Next infusion: 10/07/08
Last Prednisone dose:  7/15/08
Co-Moderator UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/19/2008 4:19 AM (GMT -6)   

I was just going to post a similar question and have just spotted this.  I last week completed a course of antibiotics (which I was very reluctant to take!) for a UTI and have started with a flare-up a few days later.  I have mentioned this to my Consultant and he didn't think that would be the cause of it but I had been feeling absoultely fine, other than an upset stomach on the antibiotics.

I wanted to check what the real professionals thought about this as it seems that the patients often know more than our Dr's!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 8/19/2008 11:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I just put this on another thread (sorry to be redundant) but antibiotics can definitely put you into a flare. I've had it happen to me before and luckily I haven't had to take them since. I'll second dakotagirl's advice and say that you for sure should look into a probiotic to try and help!
Dx: Pancolitis for 12 years
Meds: Asacol (400mg x12 daily)
         Fish Oil
         Culturelle x2 daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 8/19/2008 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I got diagnosed with c. diff (showed up on a stool test). I was having a terrible "flare up" for two weeks, and my doctor insisted on a stool sample, turns out my symptoms were because of the c. diff. It felt EXACTLY the same as my UC flares do.

I was put on Flagyl for one month (2 courses to make sure it got them all). Within 1 day of taking the Flagyl, I noticed a difference in my frequency and my comfort level. After the 30 days my stool test showed negative for c. diff so I was able to stop the Flagyl.

I started to double dose probiotics after the Flagyl to get some good bacteria going on in my gut.

I felt great for about 2 weeks, then I started to flare up. No c. diff on my stool sample, so just a normal UC flare (but the worst and most horrible flare I've had so far).

Maybe there's some correlation in my experience with the Flagyl antibiotic and my following flare. But at the same time, you can't go around with c. diff poisoning you. Keep in mind that Flagyl is also an antibiotic, and might cause a UC flare. Make sure you have c. diff before going on Flagyl -- or just try Flagyl for a couple days and see if you notice anything while you wait for stool lab results.
31 yr old male
Diagnosed: 7/07 - UC - Pancolitis
Current Meds: 2 Rowasa enemas/day ; 6 Asacol / day

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 8/19/2008 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
My GI also says antibiotics don't cause flares, but does admit (when I verbally back him in the corner) that UC patients are more prone to develop antibiotic-related diarrhea and slower to recover from it. (!) Yeah, he's never quite wrong, but he has gotten to the point where he'll admit when I'm right.

I have a prosthesis in my shoulder (thank you, Entocort) and my ortho wants me to have antibiotics before dental procedures. I politely decline because the doxycycline dentists always want to use gives me explosive D., and the abx that I can tolerate better aren't effective against all of those mouth germs.
Judy - Southern US 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 8/19/2008 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
A course of broad-spectrum antibiotics was what triggered my first bout with UC. However, flagyl is a different story as it's often prescribed specifically to treat UC. Also, if you have a c-diff infection, that's a whole different discussion.

Regarding food choices for flares, tender white meat of chicken and turkey, soft cooked veggies like green beans and carrots, canned fruits, applesauce, very ripe bananas and nut butters are on my personal list of safest foods.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 8/19/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
its really hard to tell you when 'everything will go back to normal' as all flares are different.
different levels of severity and time.
i have had 2 week flares and also flares that lasted solidly over a year.
this current one has been about 2 and half months.

hard to say.
but during last bad flare, tuna, avocado and saltines, were nice and easy to eat.
now i just eat whatever i want really.
no corn though. ouch.
steph - 32 - female - UC since 2000
currently flaring again..  grrr! (triggered by stress - grrr)
mesalazine granules 3g x1 a day (much nicer than a million tablets a day)
enteric coated fish oil -omega 3 (so they get all the way to my colon)
vitamin D3 x1 a day
prednisolone 25mg x1 a day (ick ick and did i say ick?)
tumeric capsules x3 a day

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 8/19/2008 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Count me in for antibiotics causing my current flare. I took them for an infected root. The endodontist prescribed them. I should have notified the GI right away. The first GI suggested I take more probiotics. Then it was too late. The new GI (and his staff) recognized that antibiotics could start a flare and started treatment right away. The new GI and the old GI are in the same practice.

I think my first BIG flare was started by antibiotics I was taking for pneumonia.

In anycase, treatment for one thing (such as a bad tooth) can really impact IBD. Lesson learned? If I have to take medication prescribed by someone else, call my GI asap and check in.
Age: 48
location: Seattle, Wa
currently in small flare, tail end of colon
Diagnosed with UC in June 2006
Medications: Asacol 3 pills 3 x/day, Cortifoam at bedtime, Canansa in the morning
No. of colonoscopies: 1
Originally diagnosed with moderate UC, pancolitis

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 8/19/2008 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
My naturopath explained how antibiotics -- and the Accutane I took more than 20 years ago -- would kill good bacteria and allow yeast to take over, and probiotics can get things back to the right balance. So he started me with a pretty intense ($$$) probiotic (see my profile), and I've read online that it is also intended for use after taking antibiotics.
I had to be treated for MRSA earlier this year (maybe acquired from public bathrooms??) and took a strong antibiotic for that, and realize now it may have set off this year's flare!
49 year old female, diagnosed in 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently 15 mg prednisone tapering off from lingering flare;
Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
August 2008 Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet and Replete probiotic, DGL Plus (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors, under care of naturopathic doctor.
Flare is resolved after two weeks of no gluten, soy, etc!

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 8/20/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
We both had to take Flagyl and another companion antibiotic for HPylori. What a grueling schedule that was timing everything before and after his daily regular meds. Paying attention to what medication has to be taken on empty stomach and before other meds need a 2 hr wait etc.

Absolutely take the pro biotics and even more than usual to help keep replacing the good bacteria being eradicated by the antibiotics. I made sure I was taking pro biotics also and I have no gastric problems and wanted to keep it that way...lol.

I was a nervous wreck this was going to mess things up big time for hubby and he did fine. The toughest part was sticking to the medication regimine - setting the alarm clock to start the process - the Pepto Bismol (yuck!) Good luck.

61 yr old male~Colitis 1st diagnosed Jan '05-cleared up within a few wks. Flared again in May '06 (now UC) & hospitalized 5/07-currently heading towards a remission. Osteopena of spine from prednisone DX 8/07  Oct 07 feeling quite normal most days.  150mg Imuran  Zero mg prednisone  12 Asacol, Lidocaine Hydrochloride Jelly 2%,multi vitamin, iron 1X day, DanActive, chewable calcium, fiber capsule 1x day, Prilosec 20mg, enalapril 10mg, glipizide 5 mg, zocor 20 mg, baby aspirin, (Fentanyl pain patch 50mg 72 hrs  Morphine Sulf 15 mg twice daily)Cortifoam enema every other PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month

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