about flares again/or not?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/14/2009 6:21 AM (GMT -6)   
confused  my son started bleeding around xmas eve....then over a week the d started.....more, more, more...more blood....as of today his stools are like water and red....his doctor already sent him for blood work and today starting stool samples.  I think he's  doing what he can to figure out what going on, but is this "typically" the way a flare starts...gradually.....then worse?  My frustration is that the doctor didn't do anything to stop it.  And now I'm talking, but not knowing what I'm talking about, because I don't even know if you can stop it once it starts.  He hasn't raised his prednisone or anything.  just waiting for results.  and.....typically...(again I probably know the answer because everyone is different and we don't really know for sure what going on" but typically, in a normal flare, how long can it last?  does it just it self get under control eventually?  or do you definately need medication assistance? thanks for the help!  also, he went snow boarding a week before this started...can that kind of physical activity to your body cause a flare? 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 1/14/2009 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
You're talking about a gastro doc and not a general practitioner, right? I'm surprised he hasn't taken measures to increase his meds. He's already on prednisone? What type of stool and blood tests is he running? When do you see the doctor again?

For a flare that's bad enough for liquid diarrhea and blood, it's not going to resolve by itself.

There is no typical way for a flare to start... some come on suddenly with some sort of trigger, some come on gradually. Neither is there a typical length of time to flare. Depends on the severity of the symptoms and what your son's personal triggers might be. I wouldn't think physical activity would be to blame. Usually it's more about stress, a course of antibiotics, too much rich/sweet holiday food, etc.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 1/14/2009 10:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I can only share my experience but yes, my flares usually gradually get worse and worse. I have learned to call the doctor at the very first signs. For me the first sign is usually passing mucus and softening of stools - some increased frequency. The bleeding and cramping typically come after that then the diarrhea and urgency and increased BM up to 5-10 a day (sometimes more if it is really bad). Again, I have learned to try tell my doctor at the very first signs and that helps. In the past I ignored early symptoms because they were so mild at first and then I would end up in a terrible flare.
For me the worst part is the bleeding. I tend to bleed quite a bit with a bad flare.

No, physical activity does not cause flares for me. In fact my doctor encourages it.

Again, in my case - no when I am in a flare it will not clear up without medical intervention. I take Lialda for maintenance but during a flare I have to go on prednisone and Cansasa in addition to the Lialda. I noticed that you mentioned your son is already on prednisone. I have never been on it when I was not flaring. Do you know why he was on it prior to this flare? What is his dosage?

I understand your concern and worries as a mother myself. I pray every day that my daughter does not develop this! I would not stop asking your sons doctor questions. Your son has a right to be an active participant in his health care and should be told why the doctor is making these decisions.
Dx 2006 right after the birth of my daughter
Lialda now down to 1 pill a day!
Canasa on and off as needed
Probiotics Daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 280
   Posted 1/14/2009 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like the doctor is ruling out c-diff which can cause the same symptoms as a UC flare. My gastro always did this before starting me on heavy doses of prednisone.

Originally diagnosed with CD in 1991
Now saying "Undetermined Colitis"
3 step Jpoucher as of 4-15-08

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/14/2009 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks for your replies.  to answer some questions, he is only on 2.5 of prednisone because they were weening him off.  Some part make me think it was because he is trying to get off of it and his body might be dependent?  He started bleeding again when he hit 7.5.  It might just be a coincidence.  My fear has been that he might be prednisone dependent.  But, what do I know.  He's on two injections of humira bi-weekly.  For six weeks he was only giving himself one because he has such a difficult time with it.  Could that of caused it?.  Cutting his dose in half?  They are testing him for stool culture for enteric pathogen, c-diff toxin assay, giardiaX3, ova @ parasitesx3 and stool for wbcs.  I have no clue what most of these mean.  he also had bloodwork testing for cbc w/diff.  we never heard about any results on that, it was on Monday.  He's going with the second sample tomorrow and lastly Friday.  Hopefully we can have some course of treatment.  Its like I'm desperate for them to put him on something, but I guess they need these results first.  I can't imagine why the doctor hasn't raised his prednisone just based on his symptoms.  Again, I don't know.  My son is a ball of stress.  He has no patience.  Probably a huge factor in all this.  (the 93 mile an hour ticket he got over a week ago isn't going to help)  I was very upset with him.  Then, I feel bad for contributing to the stress.  I just lost it on him because he's just making things worse.  (anyway sorry I got off track) thank you all again.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/18/2009 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Its C-Diff.  After three weeks of my son complaining of stomoch cramps and his d getting worse, the dr finally did stool samples.  its c-diff again.  he had it in may.  Can it stay in your system that long?  he didn't use an antibiotic?  Anyway he's on 250mg of vanco, something.  Its heavy duty.  hope it helps soon.  its been 48 hours. 
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