I've been in a flare for the past 5 weeks or so, with urgency, diarrhea, cramping, blood, pain, etc. I went to my GI and she increased my Asacol from 6 pills a day to 12, and started me on Canasa suppositories; I've been on the increased Asacol for a week and a half, the Canasa for almost a week. I was diagnosed with proctitis in March, as a result of a colonoscopy that was scheduled because I was really constipated and concerned that my endometriosis had penetrated my bowel wall. The colonoscopy showed no endo, but UC in the lower part of my colon and rectum; that is when I started the 6-pills-a-day Asacol regimen. Having never heard of UC until this point, and having been told that the primary symptom of UC was D, I asked my doc, well, then, if I have UC, why do I have constipation and not diarrhea? "Oh, everyone's different," was about all she said. Things were fine till this latest flare (during which I have wondered if the inflammation has spread, as I can definitely feel things in my left side, higher up), which I'm sure has been made by worse by stress related to my mother's recent (though after the flare began) diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Anyway, the flare seems to be getting better, except that now I'm having some constipation! I feel a bit bloated and uncomfortable, but can't pass much of anything, or just little bits at a time. I've been on a low-fiber diet, but have been eating some fruits and veggies, too.
So my questions are: now what? back to a high fiber diet, with Benefiber and maybe even Miralax? Is this a sign that the flare is resolving? I have read through many of the previous discussions of constipation on the forum, and understand (thanks to all of you, not my doctor!) that inflammation in the rectum can lead to C, not D. If a flare starts bottom to top (but I don't recall that this started with C, but maybe) and heals top to bottom (is that right), and rectal inflammation leads to C, might this mean that my upper colon areas are healing and I just need to stick with the Canasa till this is all done, adding fiber and water to deal with the C?
OK. Those are my UC questions. Now, for the thanks: I have already found this forum to be incredibly helpful, much moreso than any discussion I've had with a doctor. I have learned more about diet, flares, symptoms, causes, supplements, and general management of UC here than I have from medical professionals. I find it incredible that every time I ask a doctor if she has any dietary recommendations relative to UC, the answer is "no, just figure out what foods you tolerate." I *know* everyone is different, but this is a diease of the digestive system, which has to do with processing food and nutrition. ARGH! I've gotten much better information here. So thank you, thank you, thank you!
Finally, my technical question: Is there a way to search this forum besides scrolling through the message list by "last comment" or "topic" or page number (which I can't even figure out how to use effectively; can you really not jump ahead more than 5 but less than 300 pages?)? I've tried doing the "search site" thing, but that just gets me to specific relevant messages, not to the whole listing of discussions of the topic for which I'm searching. Am I just missing something really obvious here?