What exactly is remission?

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Confused & Unamused
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/1/2008 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with proctitis in 1986 and was treated with retention enemas and Azulfadine which game me headaches and nausea.  I stopped taking the Azulfadine.  Had another flare in 1990 and was treated with cortifoam.  The cortifoam stopped working and my GI prescribed Canasa.  I have been taking Lialda since Feb, 2008.  Initially, as with all the meds, the Lialda worked wonderfully and I was able to stop using the Canasa.  I was taking 2.4 gm per day.  about two weeks ago, I started to have a return of blood in the stool daily and some mucus and cramping.  I have increased the Lialda  to 3 tabs a day and started back on the Canasa 1000mg per day.   I am fortuanate in that my symptoms are mild, especially compared to many of whom I have read about here. I do not routinely suffer from diarrhea and most days have only one to two bowel movements per day.  My doc wants me to consider the Lialda as my maintenance drug.  Will I ever be able to d/c the Canasa?  What is really is remission?  I have asked this of my doc (new to me since Feb, 2008) and is vauge.  His response is that remission is when I feel well.  Am I to expect  to be 100% symptom free and that will be remission?  Is occasional blood in the stool remission?  I do not have hemmorhoids.  I am 53 years old.
I am glad I have found this forum as i have learned so much.  Your wise counsel would be appreciated.

Confused & Unamused
3.6 gms Liala
1000mg Canasa
proctosigmoiditis & inflammation at the hepatic flexure

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 10/1/2008 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Remission is different for everyone.

Dorlands med dictionary states: remission (re-mish´әn) diminution or abatement of the symptoms of a disease; the period during which such diminution occurs.

Which just says the lessing of symptoms of a disease.

For me remission should be my body functioning at a level pre-disease. For others it may be that they just don't have to sprint to the toilet everyday. It's sorta like how the word cure gets thrown around too. Some think removing the colon is an actual cure for this disease, and I would argue the only true cure you will ever get is from inside out while keeping your organs. Not that I am right or others are wrong, it's just different philosophies and ideas.

Welcome to the forums. We poop alot. yeah
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Lialda 3 day
Vitamin E Enemas as needed

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 10/2/2008 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I am also fortunate and have very mild (except for my first flare was wicked) and so I do not, and my GI agrees, that at this point I don't have to take a maintenance drug. Salofalk (not sure what what the US equiv. is) works within a day or two when I do flare. I go into complete remmission for months at a time, no mucous, blood, urgency and regular BMs.
Dx:  UC Proctitis 2006 
Meds:  None so far. Garlic works to ease flares. My GI laughed when I told him and said it was just coincidence. 
Started Meds:  Apr 9 08 500mg 5ASA (salofalk) to ease flare, tapering, stopped. 
Diet:  Regular fresh garlic, Biobest yogurt daily, Omega 3 supplements, very limited junk food, carbs and processed food, low fat diet.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (limited potatoes). 
 Added: tumeric and probiotics.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/2/2008 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   

I joined the forum a while ago but went into what I consider complete remission so I haven't visited here in a while. I would say complete remission could be defined as no blood and not having to run to the bathroom, and not have that feeling of urgency. I was put on the Rowasa nightly and 2 Lialda daily when I was diagnosed in August 2007. By November 2007, I was able to stop using the Rowasa.

I am curious to know if you monitor your diet, and if so, what foods you intake, what you avoid. I know that this is not caused by our diet, and different foods affect UC people differently, but I believe some can be aggravating to your body until your symptoms go into remission. My first GI Dr. told me to avoid raw fruits and vegetables until I was in remission because they are harder to digest. This worked for me, and now that I am in remission I eat raw produce daily.

Best of luck to you.


2 Lialda daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 10/2/2008 2:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know how remission should be defined, but I am happy, happy, happy when I have no urgency. I don't care if I have some blood, my body makes more. When my stools are formed, I am just...amazed. I guess I have low expectations after all this time.
And I agree, once I'm feeling better I can eat things I wouldn't dare to in a flare. But I shouldn't ever, ever drink hard liquor!!
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. Use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free diet, also none of the other foods tested sensitive to (cow's milk, soy, tomato, egg white, others)
Achieved remission for the first time in many, many years! 
Replete probiotic. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for anemia.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 10/5/2008 4:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Remember we all have had urgency etc at some point - we we all probably have a higher chance of hemmoroids, so any minor bleeding on the tissue etc will probably be them.

Remission for me as I understand it is less than 4 BM's a day, no diarrhoea, no large amounts of blood - and obviously with you feeling well. I guess minor episodes of D, blood and fatigue are just part of a digestive problems we will have to live with.

Diagnosis Oct 07 and then Aug 08: Inditerminate Patches of Mild Colitis (including Rectum) - Currently Minor Bleeding
Medication: 1000mg Asacol Enema, 800mg Asacol Tablets x 2 a day.

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