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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 12/28/2008 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Just a note to tell you all that my son's doctor NEVER once told him to take extra vitamins, probionics or none of the fancy diets you all talk about.  We also notice on the board that you who do take all those extra vitamins and stuff, STILL  get flares.  And my son did try cutting back on dairy, red meat, spagetti sauce, coffee, and he still got a flare twice a year, like clockwork,,the same time of year,  Sept. and March.  His doctor said forget special diets. Just eat a well balanced and nutritional food, like every one else. People with  normal colons don't go over board with vitamins etc,  and people with colitis aren't helped with them either.  It is an autoimmune problem,  multivitamins don't help much when it comes to the colon.  All the normal colon is for is to absorb excess fluid from the waste products to give you firm stools.  But, when the lining of your large intestine is all flared and irritated, it can't do the job right, you don't absorb all the water from the waste,thus,,the loose mucusy stuff, and urgency to go.
His doctor told him the lining of his colon, (when in a flare)  would look like a bad brush burn on your arm.
That causes the bleeding too.
My son would keep a diary of everything he ate.  There were times when he ate ice cream and pizza etc,, and he had no problems,,,felt fine, and in remission.  Other times he ate that stuff,, HAD HIS FLARE!  Same with all the other food.  He actually drinks 2 big mugs of coffee in the morning too.   No problem most of the time.
So,  I can't help but wonder if people are wasting a whole lot of money on all those extra vitamins, and probiotics
I'm 65 and it seems when I was younger, I never heard of all this stuff, OR colitis!!  Just ate normal food, not to mention was (and still am)  a total junk food eater.
Never had a problem with the bowels in my life. So, go figure.    My husband has a mild to moderate  form of colitis now going on 40 years.  I always  noticed his got the worst when he was all stressed out from work,  and since he retired 8 years ago,  has not had one problem. His colon looks normal says his doctors.   So there you have it.  My son  developed his colitis after he got promoted at his job and was made a supervisor.  It stressed him out so bad.
He is a perfectionist and worried all the time.  He left that job, and started his own small business.  He is happier, but the colitis kinda hung around.   He never goes into a total and constant remission,  so his doctor is trying him on the Remicade to see it that will heal him.
He is only taking  6MP now too, and nothing else.
  Oh well, didn't mean to rant. Just a little info to ingest.  The mom.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 12/28/2008 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I truly don't consider vitamins as a waste of money, vitamins are not for keeping us out of flares or getting rid of colitis, etc., they are for keeping up healthy in the best and worst times.
Male, 21. Puerto Rico
DX: Ulcerative Colitis as of 06/05
Remissions: Remission: 01/06 till 10/08
Current Treament: Asacol® 2400 MG 2X daily, Rowasa® (when needed), 1MG Folic Acid, 30 MG Prednisone (tapering from 40MG), Remicade® 10mg/kg every 6 weeks, New Chapter® Only One, New Chapter® All-Flora Probiotics, New Chapter® Bone Strength Take Care, FutureProbiotics® Vegetarian Enzyme Complex 50+
Status: Recent almost two month flare, but now in remission I believe... :) No urgency, no blood, good consistency :)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/28/2008 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
So "there you have it"???? What? Your son and your hubby both have colitis which is genetic and IBD is an individualisitic disease and many do well taking probiotics, certain vitamins, natural anti-inflammatories and watchng there diet...I don't think I've ever seen a post on this board stating that vitamins are a cure all for IBD but for many it brings relief along with the other things I mentioned above and the bottom line is when you're the one who's sick with it and want to feel better you'll try just about anything to get there, it's a lot different from a non-IBDers perspective.

If you choose to be a total junk food eater that's your choice but research has shown that for many if not most, IBDers that eat a junk food diet or a diet high in refined sugar, caffeine, animal fats, processed foods/beverages and fast-foods are more likely to exacerbate their symptoms from doing so. Research has also shown that because IBDers are prone to bacterial over-growth that taking a good probiotic daily and indefinitely can certainly have it's benefits, in a small trial the majority went into full remission due to probiotics so I'll take what science says any day.

IMO, it's a waste of money buying junk food not vitamins and probiotics...but then again that is my perspective as an IBDer not a healthy person (or non-IBDer at least).

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 12/28/2008 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys, Don't get mad at me...I'm just saying what my son's doctor told him! My son has had 5 different doctors in the 10 years and not one told him to take vitamins,,no kidding!! I was surprised because I just assumed they were great to take. But most doctors will tell you that if you eat the right foods you get ALL the vitamins you need. You can actually have a toxic affect from some, like Vitamin A for instance. If you check the cereal box, they have every Vitamin you need, and that is just breakfast. Have a banana with it and you had a good meal. Yep, I do eat junk food, and I swear, my blood pressure is perfect, arteries clean, HDL is 85 and my doctor tells me whatever I'm doing, keep it up. ???? I tell her,
"I don't do anything special." I do go to a gym 3 times a week, and I nibble on walnuts, almonds, eat fruit, and drink a LOT of Green tea.
Plus ice cream,, chocolate bars, and occasional chips.. :-) But I get all my nutrients from actual food, not a pill. AND... save money that I spend on actual food. But, again, this is NOT coming from me, the DOCTOR SAID IT! As I said earlier,, I notice you folks who take all the Vitamins still get flares, so it really doesn't heal your colon.
But, I guess the vitamins can help you if you don't eat balanced meals and look for them to give you what you need in other parts of your body. Also, my daughter in law, asked her pediatrician what Vitamin to give her sons, and he said, NONE, just give them good food. Now that surprised me because I gave my sons Vitamins growing up to form good bones etc. But, her doctor said not too.
Please don't thinik I'm trying to start a feud here,,, I was just passing on info from doctors, not me. But you gotta admit, on TV all you see is advertising for Medicine, and Vitamins..hmmm, makes you wonder why all of a sudden just plain good food isn't good enough anymore. Like some other Grannie on the board said, she read that doctors get some kinda kick back from all these meds.
Ok, enough. I wish you all the best of health, no matter how want to achieve it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 12/28/2008 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Everything is said in LOVE!! Although we can be grouchy at times... lol

I hate to say it, but most of the people on this board are more educated on supplements than most doctors are. Besides the fact we make no money on you taking anything other than what we can code to your insurance or write on a script. I really don't take supplements to cure anything. The ones I take consistently are taken for better health(function). No one has ever recommended me supplement omega-3, but all the research says I should take it. My doctors would DIE if I mentioned cooking in Coconut Oil. Why? Well it's saturated fat, lol. Yes, but there's more to it than that. Not many docs will tell you to supplement with probiotics after you wipe you or your childs immune system out with massive antibiotics either. Our bodies are meant to self sustain, but unfortunately we like to overload them with alot of unhealthy things so there is a need to supplement at times. If everyone ate a good variety of organic whole foods with no additives or preservatives then we could supplement much less. Most people on the typical american diet is unhealthy, overweight, and deficient in nutrients.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Lialda 1 day
Golimumab study
Vitamin E Enemas as needed

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/28/2008 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not mad at you and I don't think SiCk-CoLoN is either...I too have had 4 GI's in my 17 yrs of having an IBD (crohn's colitis, which is crohn's affecting the colon) and not one of them mentioned vitamins, probiotics, diet or anything to me either, they just like to throw pills at you even though none of them work for me or I'm allergic so going the natural route including taking vitamins A, C-calcium ascorbate and B12 (the B12 was given to me by my family doc because I had a lack of it in my system which was causing initial symptoms of nerve damage so clearly vitamins do have their place for IBDers).

Of course vitamins don't necessarily heal the colon but that doesn't mean they're not needed, god knows where I'd be without the B12, the tingling and numbness I was feeling in my fingers because of the lack of it has disappeared since taking B12 daily for the last 5 yrs. And both Vitamins A and C are good for colon health or I wouldn't bother with them.

The main thing too is that IBDers don't absorb nutrients/vitamins via food alone due to inflammation and therefore we should be supplementing for the ones we lack in our system. so I certainly hope anyone that is taking their vitamins doesn't stop because one person says they're pointless when they're not...and probiotics are most definitely necessary because IBDers tend to have bacterial overgrowth so I hope no one stops taking their probiotics either, besides many of us here have noted improvements thanks to probiotics...I wish I'd known about them yrs ago along with the other natural anti-inflammatories and vitamins that I now take.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5191
   Posted 12/28/2008 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Some doctors have big egos & spout nonsense just to hear themselves talk. Responsible doctors test their IBD patients' blood 2-3 times a year & recommend vitamin/mineral supplements accordingly. You cannot generalize to all patients that vitamins are a waste of $$$ because some have more severe inflammation or more frequent flares than others & therefore require stronger meds, some of which, like steroids, can cause deficiencies that REQUIRE vitamin/mineral supplementation to prevent further complications, such as osteoporosis. Recent research shows that Vitamin D is very important to the immune system, but cancer concerns keep more people out of direct sunlight in modern society-- so there goes another reason for supplementation. A responsible doctor should weigh all the variables in a patient's condition/lifestyle to determine whether vitamin/mineral supplementation is called for-- as well as keep him/herself informed on the best current recommended medical practice. Relying on proverbs, cliches, or old wives' tales does not help IBD. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 2-3 original Colazal daily for maintenance of remission + 1 Centrum Silver, 1 glucosamine/chondroitin 500/400 on gastro's advice, and yes, they do help)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 12/28/2008 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I still take a multivitamin every day....waste of money or not....and probiotics because I believe they do help me....."In the colon, water is reabsorbed; some nutrients are produced by friendly bacteria (vitamin K, biotin, vitamin B12); fibers are digested to various acids and gases; and minerals, such as potassium and sodium, are reabsorbed (when needed)"....but - UC has a mind of its own and just as you stated - sometimes some foods will bother it, sometimes the same foods will not the next time...maybe sometimes vitamins will not seem like they are really helping when in fact they are.

I can relate to your son. My UC started when I was 20....going to college and working full time.....running a small business on the side of that....I am a perfectionist and worry about the simple things in life that most blow off and ignore.....I have had my share of very stressful jobs, and now am president of my own business, also function as the sales department, mechanical engineer, purchasing, customer support, and my UC gets very angry at recent flare I believe is a combination of things - eating bad things, extreme stress, extreme life events within the past 6 months (mom had massive cerebral hemorrhage, our home burglarized, wife had miscarriage, wife pregnant again, large stressful jobs at work and so on)....this is by far the worst flare I have had in a long time. Having UC for 14 years, I dont feel I have ever achieved a perfect remission - but I have experienced the extremes - so I can calculate a compromise and most of the time that is what I get....

As far as the colitis "hanging around" I am afraid that is going to be the case until a cure is found....I hope he is able to achieve remission instead of a compromise....
34 yr old male. UC for 14 years. 40mg pred (as of 12/16/08), 12 pills Asacol per day, 1mg Atavan per day (anxiety) when needed, Fish oil pills, Culturelle probiotics. Recent Endonasal brain surgery to remove non-cancerous hormone producing tumor on pituitary gland (And I am still more afraid of my UC!!) "I poop in the woods because I can"

Post Edited (mbx5) : 12/28/2008 9:05:46 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 12/29/2008 12:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I would disagree totally that vitamins are a waste of money.

Take my favourite one - vitamin C. Not only is it not a waste of money but you actually need it to survive. The recommended daily intake which is totally laughable and something like 90 mg is enough to keep you from getting scurvy (teeth falling out, body melting into a pile of goo, ect..)

I'm sure I would gladly trust that the government wants me to stay healthy and live as long as possible.. NOT!.. I take 5 g per day.. see you past 60.
Off of 5-ASA (6 years) and 1-day minor flareup since probiotics started.

Probiotics 18 strains (vsl#3 + N.F. Ultimate multi probiotic + Trophic Acidophilus Plus + Nature's Way P. Reuteri + Florastore S. Boulardii) - 500 billion per day. No sugar, Oatmeal in the morning.
L-glutamine, elm powder, vit b & folic acid, 5 g vitamin C, vit D, vit E, Calcium+Magnesium

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 12/29/2008 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
i think everyone (even healthy people) should take at least a multivitamin.  unless you truly do have a well-balanced healthy, organic diet (which most don't), supplementation is important.  eating organic food is good b/c we may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals we need from overly-processed, pesticide-filled foods.  plus, when we're in a flare, i don't think we're absorbing nutrients properly (hence the weightloss, lack of energy, etc.) - so it's especially important to supplement along with a healthy diet. 
taking everything your doctors say at face value is a little naive.  you can't believe everything they tell you, b/c they can't possibly know everything!!  plus, they're almost always going to recommend pharmaceuticals over any sort of holistic remedy.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 12/29/2008 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
This condition is (lifting a phrase from Winston Churchill) a mystery inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma. There is growing agreement that it's an autoimmune disease, but no firm evidence on the root cause. Yes, there's a hereditary factor, yet most of us who get it have no other affected family members.

Given this state of scientific limbo, we each pursue our own way in trying to regain a normal life. What helps one person doesn't necessarily help the next. In fact, what helps some people may actually make others worse. Some people have proctitis and really don't have a lot of nutritional issues; others with pancolitis may lose significant amounts of nutrients because food passes through their system so quickly.

In addition, there's a demonstrated brain-body connection on IBD; stress is positively associated with flaring. So there's a really good chance that what we believe will help us will, in fact, help. Even if there's no physiological explanation for why something helps, it does. We do whatever helps us to get back closer to normalcy, and this is okay.

Bottom line, those of us who have the daily pain, exhaustion and potential humiliation that comes with this disease do whatever we feel will help us. Everyone knows the standard medical advice, it just doesn't work for some and so they try other ways.
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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 12/29/2008 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Well said, Judy.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa; Canasa; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 12/29/2008 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
There's nothing in a vitamin/mineral supplement that you can't get by eating the right foods. If you have, or think you have a vitamin deficiency, eating the correct foods can overcome that deficiency without the aid of supplements.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 12/29/2008 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
"It is an autoimmune problem, multivitamins don't help much when it comes to the colon." -cra43's doctor.

I highly disagree with this doctor's statement. Vitamins and minerals are important catalysts for the manufacturing/activation of enzymes, which break down food and has an impact on the colon. Undigested food material that reaches the colon is a buffet for pathogenic organisms currently residing in every person's guts. So, in fact, there is a cyclic pattern that directly affects the colon: Malabsorbtion begets deficiencies which cause enzyme depletion/inactivation. This causes irritation from undigested fats, sugars, proteins, and cellulosic wastes that pass into the colon. The irritation causes more malabsorbtion of nutrients and continues the cycle.
Many here take multi's to cover all the bases an already established diet may fail to provide. I feel the "special diet" thing is essential to a person with IBD. The "special" thing about it is it is special to that person in the form of a food diary-- not some fancy infomercial claiming to cure-all. Some with IBD may not be able to tolerate a well-balanced complete nutritional whatever due to incompatablity with certain foods that may provide needed nutrients.

Another quote from that doctor: "Just eat a well balanced and nutritional food, like every one else." I will do just that... as soon as he tells me firsthand what its like having 25 bowel movents a day, chugging chalky Ensure shakes, and tossing n' turning in bed after those well-balanced nutritional food items I ate for dinner slices and dices their way thru my guts.

I guess the moral of the story is that sites like this one allow for an exchange of advice/information/diets/supps from those who live with UC everyday. Its not some conventional "how-to" book coughed up by some doc. These are real people that take what they feel is necessary for a comfortable life that many who don't have UC take for granted.
Diagnosed w/ Ulcerative Colitis in 1995
32 years old
Living med free  
Currently in remission  

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