First some general terminology. "Colitis" is any inflammation of the colon. It can be caused by infection or any number of things. "Ulcerative colitis" is a specific, chronic disease which results in inflammation and ulcerations in the large intestine, frequently accompanied by diarrhea, bleeding and pain.
You have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, according to your post. This is a chronic disease which you will have for the rest of your life, unless you elect to have surgery to remove your colon. That doesn't mean you will be sick for the rest of your life, however. UC is a disease of remissions, when you have little or no symptoms present, and flares, when you once again have symptoms to a significant degree.
There's no real agreement on what cause flares, but it is believed that diet and exercise do not. Severe stress or other illnesses can bring flares for some people. While many people present subjective evidence of a diet helping them, there's no objective evidence that any particular diet helps or harms us as a group. It's pretty much individual, and the best way to tell if something doesn't agree with you is to keep a food diary. After three months, you may see that every time you eat a certain food you feel worse one to three days later, and decide to avoid that food. This happens to a lot of people whether or not they have UC.
Because this is a chronic condition, it's important to keep taking your medication even when you feel well. For most people with UC a 5-ASA drug such as Asacol will help prevent flares. The Prednisone should be used short-term only, as it won't keep you in remission long-term and has some nasty long-term side effects. Be sure you taper the Pred slowly - not more than 5mg. every 7 to 14 days - so your body can adjust and the adrenal glands can start producing steroids on their own again.
There are a very small percentage of people who have one UC flare and are never bothered again, but most will have flares periodically. Some of us stay in remission for years, some for months, some for days. With the right medication or combination of meds, you should be good to go. We have members here who are sports competitors, mountain climbers, police and military officers. Only if you are in the unlucky minority that has trouble getting and maintaining remission would it interfere.
Welcome to HealingWell, I'm glad you found us, but very sorry you got UC and needed to come here. I'm sure you'll get a lot of ideas, advice and support from our membership.
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 ForumPlease remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.
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