Shadam, I'm sorry you've received this diagnosis. Welcome to HealingWell and I hope you will find this site helpful and supportive. To address your questions in order:
1) How often to flares usually last?
This varies from person to person. Some people have easily controlled flares that last a few days to a few weeks. Others have had flares lasting a few years. You can have one or both kinds of flares.
2) When you are not flairing, are your stools solid and do you feel normal (not feeling the urge to go every 2 minutes)?
When you are in remission, your stools should be solid and the urgency goes away - the urgency frequently is the last thing to go, as it is a symptom of rectal inflammation (proctitis) and the rectum is the last part of the colon to clear up.
3) What are the best meds to take (currently on Asacol which doesnt seem the most effective) other then steroids?
Again, this varies with the person. You want to take the lowest level (least side effects) medication that gives you acceptable relief from your symptoms. If you check the UC resource thread at the top of the board, there is information about
medication used for UC. Asacol is usually the first medication used; if you're having significant urgency you may want to talk to your doctor about
medicated enemas, as they can help heal the rectum and get rid of that.
4) I'm young, in my mid 20's, can I have a few drinks on the weekend and not worry about
Again, this varies from person to person. I think most of our members do have a drink or two on occasion. If you're in remission it likely won't bother you.
5) Are there any herbal type meds that people are on that seem effective?
None helped me, but again this varies from person to person. If you look around at the forum, I'm sure you'll find a lot of differing opinions. You probably want to avoid anything that talks about
a "cure" or guarantees improvement. At this time the only cure is surgery, and because we all react so differently there is no one thing that will help every one of us. Most products that provide such claims are primarily intended to separate you from your money.
6) Is there every going to be a cure for this disease?
I have to believe there will be a cure. At this point they're just beginning to understand the process by which it develops and to identify causes, so a cure may be a long way off. But at least now there's a lot of research being done. Probably because we stopped being intimidated by embarrasment and suffering in silence, also because the incidence of UC is increasing rapidly.
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.