UC and weight loss

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/6/2008 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Do *you* tend to drop pounds when you're flaring? If so, how many (or what percentage, if you'd rather)?

This is my 4th flare but the first time I've ever lost weight. I'm down 12 pounds in just 2 months (I started flaring the last week of August and I've been tracking my weight since then). My confusion comes from the fact that I've changed a few things about my lifestyle over these last 2 months also: I started eating better (i.e., only natural/non-processed foods) and I've also gone off the birth control pill, but that was only 2 weeks ago... and so I'm not sure of the reason for my weight loss. Too many factors, I guess.

Losing 12 pounds without trying is very strange for me, as I've been the same weight (give or take 3-4 pounds) for the last 5 years or so. I'm not exercising any differently, I'm not stressed, I'm not eating less (just healthier).

I'm definitely not *complaining* about my current weight (I'm very much enjoying it!!), but I'm just "paying attention", if you will, to see how low it actually drops. When is it a signal to tell the doctor? When (if ever) should I be concerned?

And if you're someone who does drop weight while flaring, do you gain it back when you're in remission? Do the meds (Lialda, Rowasa) cause you to gain or to lose more?

Thanks :)
29-yr-old female
Diagnosed October 2008
Rowasa (2x/day)
Lialda (1x/day)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 11/6/2008 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Some lose weight others don't. I think it has alot to do with current health, metabolism, diet, and severity/length of flare. I feel it is up to the individual and/or their doc to determine if the weight loss is acceptable or unhealthy.

Malabsorbtion of nutrients is common with UC flares. I have a fast metabolism and a low bodyfat percentage so I lose weight rather rapidly when in a flare as my body cannibalizes (atrophy) itself for the nutrients I am missing in my diet. Occasionally it gets to me as I watch my hard work in the gym literally get flushed down the toilet. But it comes back as soon as the flare is over.

A few months ago I had the worst flare in 14 years of having UC. I broke my arm in May, then came back from Vegas with the runs, got put on antibiotics by my dentist and was running a 102 fever. May was horrible! My body didn't know which to tackle first and to cap it all off, I got my first really bad flare in many years. I'm 6'1" and went from 221 to 175 in 6 weeks. I started to get a little nervous and my poor mom was ready to rush me to the ER. The flare went away, I came off antibiotics, and my arm finally came back. I'm back up to 205.
Diagnosed w/ Ulcerative Colitis in 1995
32 years old
Living med free  
Currently in remission  

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/7/2008 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm like Ucwarrior, I have a fast metabolism and low BMI. I have always lost weight rapidly when I flare. I am not sure if it's the fact that I run to the bathroom constantly or that I just don't eat as much. Maybe a combination of both. I know for a fact that my appetite is nil when I am flaring and food nauseates me. I am 5'6" and right now I weigh around 135lbs but in one of my worse flares, I dropped down to 107lbs. I wasn't bony but I had a very unhealthy pallor. I felt like a walking corpse. But I did manage to gain some of the weight I lost back. Now that I am getting older, it seems that gaining weight is becoming easier.
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis(?)~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3 epidural injections-worked great!, Osteoarthritis
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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 11/7/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I rarely lose wieght because of UC. The only reason i would loose wieght is because i was scared to eat. But mabye never lost more than 5 pounds.

26y old male. Diagnosed with UC (lower proctitis) in 2004.
Current daily treatment:                             Probiotics & supplements:
2400mg oral asacol                                       Digestive enzymes
75mg azathioprine                                        folic acid & calcuim with V-D
20mg Prilosec                                              VSL#3 probiotic 
Diet:Little/no sugars, fats, carbs, caffine,yeast,breads,alcohol. Stay natural as possible. A not so strict form of the SCD.  
Results:1 Bowel movement in the morning no blood! Remission since 08Sept08

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 11/9/2008 3:16 AM (GMT -6)   
ive lost weight for sure.
last years flare i went from 165 down to 100 in just a few months. pretty bad.

got better and went back to 125-130 and now that im sick again, im back down to just 118.

due to not eating as much and crapping all the time i think.
steph - 32 - female - gold coast australia - UC since 2000
severe UC in descending colon and sigmoid colon ONLY
mesalazine granules 3g x1 a day (much nicer than a million tablets a day)
prednisolone 25mg x1 a day (ick ick and did i say ick?)
enteric coated fish oil -omega 3 (so they get all the way to my colon)
vitamin D3 x1 a day
tumeric capsules - if i remember to take the bloody things.
i still eat what i want, when i want, if i feel like eating at all :(

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 11/9/2008 4:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I lose weight strictly according to how much D I have in a flare. If pred or supplements or whatever strategy I have keeps the D from piling on, then I don't lose any weight at all. So probably half the wight I "lose" in flares is just dehydration from D, in spite of my drinking lots of water. On the other hand, the other half is from having to cut out alot of the higher calorie food I use as a staple- butter, olive oil, and homemade yogurt for example- because in a flare all food, be it cooked veggie fiber or fatty stuff (carbs flare me up even more so i avoid them) go straight through me in a bad flare.
Pancolitis 20 years ago, full med-free remission 10 years,
Flaring/simmering on and off ever since, allergic to all 5ASAs
10 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 mg 8 7.5 20 mg pred, 100 mg Imuran
Probiotics (Primal Defense and others), TSO, hookworm
Turmeric/circuminboswellia, fish oil, many vits/minerals
Lower-carb version of Specific Carb Diet (SCD), Remicade newbie

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 11/9/2008 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I also have a fast metabolism and low BMI. I lost 12 lbs when I was getting diagnosed and now I'm at the weight I was before UC. But I'm still 15 lbs underweight for my height.
Female, Age 20
9 Asacol, Rowasa, 1000 mg Canasa, Proctofoam, Rifaximin 2/day
Digestive Advantage (Crohn's & Colitis)1 Florastor, 50 mg 6MP,1 Primadophilus reuteri, Remicade (4 infusions), 2.4 g Lialda, 1 Forvia, 6 Colazal/day, 1 Anucort, Culturelle, Fish Oil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 11/9/2008 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
     I lose about 10 to 15 lbs the first month in a flare and then it tapers off.  I do regain the weight (wish I didn't) but my GI doctor said it is better for me to have a few extra pounds on me.  If too skinny before a flare I wouldn't have the stamina to fight this disease.  I am 5 ft 3 in and weight between 125 and 130 now.  Was down to 123 and as high as 141.  When I was younger I weighed about 110.
     FYI birth control pills make you retain fluid, so therefore the extra weight when on them.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

UC Fighter
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 11/10/2008 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I've lost almost 40 lbs. I was up to 265 (which is big for me). Now I'm in the low 230s. It's mostly from controlling my diet (portions, quality food) and eating like the carefree person I used to be.
 Current Rx:
 6 400mg Asacol 6x / day
 40mg Prednisone / day
 Mesalamine Enemas (nightly)

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