Welcome to HealingWell, soundlady.
I'm glad to hear the Rowasa is helping you, and you may want to consider using it every few days even after you start oral medications. The inflammation of UC usually starts in the rectum and spreads from there when it flares, and Rowasa is very effective at treating proctitis (rectal inflammation.)
Generally the initial drug you may be given is one of the 5-ASA's: Asacol, Lialda, Colazal or Pentasa. These are all in the same family, but each is delivered to your colon slightly differently, so sometimes you have to try more than one to find which works best for you.
For acute flares, Prednisone or other steroids are often used short-term to induce a remission. These drugs are not appropriate for long-term use and the goal is always to taper off of them.
For the minority of people whose symptoms are not adequately controlled on the 5-ASA's, immunosuppressants such as Imuran or 6-MP may be prescribed. If the immunosuppressants don't control the flaring, some people will use biologicals such as Remicade or Humira. This group of medications is the newest available to us and can work miracles for some of us, but also can have some scary side effects in a small number of people.
Diet is highly individualized. While lactose and gluten intolerance are more common among people with UC, not all of us have these issues. Your best bet is to start a food diary so you can watch over weeks and months to see what foods always bother you.
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.