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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/27/2008 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a first time post for me...
I was diagnosed in July 2007 with UC. My GI specialist prescribed 30 mg of pred and then I would transition to asacol. Once I was just on the asacol I found that my symptoms came back. At that point my GI specialist said that diet and stress were not a factor in my condition and that I just stick to drug therapy for the rest of my life. After another months of the asacol not working I decided to go off my drug therapy and begin a strictly naturalpathic treatment. This consisted of a revised diet, probiotics, Omega 3 supplements, and Bee propolis. After a short period of time I found the symptoms I had with the asacol disappeared. Throughout 2008 I had mild bleeding occasionally but found I could keep things under control without having to bank on the drug therapy. I felt really good for the entire year!! I was encouraged. During that time my wife gave birth to our first born and I had no issues the entire labor!! THis was such a blessing.

In early December 2008 I came down with the flu and following that I went into a full blown flare up. I lost 20 pounds in two weeks and ended up in the hospital. I was put on IV pred for five days and then was approached to go on a special trial of Remicade. All these drugs and their syptoms scare me. I turned down the Remicade and in the end I decided to go on IMURAN. Reading into this drug, the side effects scar me. I have been on it for two week and had no issues yet. I worry about the long term effects though and was curious if any of you have some wisdom or experiences to share about it? I have gone for the blood tests and all seems good so far. Aside from the blood test is there any things you would suggest keeping an eye out for.

My doctors warned me that if I end up in the hospital again in the next year they highly suggest surgery? Does this seem premature to any of you, I am only 28? This incident in the hospital was the first time I was ever admitted for anything in my life. I am a rookie to UC and appreciate any wisdom you can share. I highly respect my GI specialists but with the Canadian health care system wonder if I am being pushed through at times.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 12/27/2008 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Is the Imuran putting you int remission? If so... stick with it. I've been on Imuran since May 2007. It works. I'm not real sure about the surgery thing though. Never really approached that thing with me yet, but I am on the last options though. There are 2 choices before surgery. Remicade, and Humira. Normally the doctors suggest to try Remicade first then switch you to Humira if you don't respond, or stop responding to Remicade. I had a horrible reaction to Remicade which switched me to Humria.

Hope this was helpful.
26 year old, Married, Female.
Diagnosed with UC since March 2007
Taking Humira and Imuran since May 2007 (Currently in remission since May 2007)

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 12/27/2008 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Plainly put, your real choices are medication or surgery. While diet may make symptoms worse, it doesn't cause UC or flares. The usual course of the condition is one of remissions and flares, just as you are experiencing. Unfortunately, any medication you take - "natural" or "pharmaceutical" - can have undesirable side effects. You're on the right track by educating yourself about this, but you may want to do some research on options you haven't yet tried.

Asacol is a 5-ASA anti-inflammatory drug, as are Colazal and Pentasa. If one doesn't help, another might. Some people who are unable to tolerate Asacol do well on Colazal. In addition to the anti-inflammatory effect, this class of drugs has been shown to have some protective effect against colon cancer.

Rectal medications - suppositories or enemas - help bring many people into remission either alone or in combination with oral medications. These may be steroid or 5-ASA drugs.

Imuran, or Azathioprine, is one of the "immunosuppressant" family of drugs, along with 6-MP. They help a lot of people, but you do need periodic blood tests to monitor for side effects. Be aware that Imuran usually takes 2-3 months to take effect.

The "biologicals" such as Remicade and Humira are the newest group of meds for IBD. Like immunosuppressants, they can have adverse effects in some people; for others they are a godsend. Some people choose to try these, others opt for surgery. It's an individual choice.

Steroids such as Prednisone and Entocort are intended for short-term use to help kick your system into remission. They have annoying short-term side effects and potentially disastrous long-term effects, so are not appropriate for maintenance therapy.

Bottom line, if you are reluctant to take medications, your choices narrow to surgery or just putting up with the symptoms when they come. Only you can decide what your priorities are. I wish you the greatest good fortune in making your decisions.
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.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

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