My story is very similar to Whatsaflare's. As a kid I was mostly constipated. Bowel movements were on the average of twice a week. I didn't develop UC until I was 52. It started as you are describing...mucus with my bowel movements...then the urgency..finally blood, cramping and diarrhea. I lost 15 lbs within a month and had to be hospitalized. That is where a colonoscopy discovered UC.
Ironically, I was following the Adkins Diet when my symptoms started. The GI doctor said it was probably just a coincidence, but I often wonder.
Don't be frightened. You are taking the right steps. Dairy does bother me when I am flaring, so I drink soy milk (Silk) in my cereal at those times. Now I am in remission and drink 1% milk and I also can eat ice cream without any problems. Good luck and God bless. Let us know how you make out at the doctor's office.
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.