What is a flare Up

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 2/28/2009 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Forum,

I posted my question on the Crohn's forum but really no one answered my question. I want to see if I'm starting to have flare-ups which my GI has always warned me about that could happen. Since I really don't know what to expect I thought by asking would point me in the right direction. Here it is

for the past several weeks I had the following symptoms;

- little cramping below the belly button;
- one sharp pain around the upper left ab;
- one sharp pain below the belly button...hurt like crazy

When the above happened I was trying to figure what a flare up is since I never had one before. My GI always indicate to call him when a flare up happens (like he is waiting for this). However, today was really bad. After lunch my stomach started to feel awkward which I then ran to the bathroom and released BM which was half and half. My stomach was hurting like hell. My stomach did settle down after awhile and I went for a walk to get some air. During my walk my stomach started to cramp up really bad with pain all over which ran along my hips. I then went to the bathroom and this time it was like water but when I was done I felt like pushing but nothing came out.

Now there is little aches below my belly button, and around the upper ab.

I contacted my GI about all this which I can't get in to see him for 6 months. Also, I can't get in to see my family doctor for two weeks. The GI secretary suggested for me to go to the hospital.

Does any of this sounds like a flare up that my GI seems to waiting for.

Also, I had a colonscopy 4 months ago which everything came back clean.

What do you guys think it is?
Have Crohn's for 5 years,
Meds: Asacol 800mg daily
Two Polps removed (non-cancer)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 2/28/2009 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
For me a flare up is the pains *exactly* where you describe. Then when I have BMs it's D and blood. Lots of blood for me and sometimes clots and mucous. When I have these pains I stop eating what I consider garbage to my system and eat easily digestible foods. Drink plenty of water and take fiber.
- DXed with "left sided" UC in 1998. DXed with "proctitis" Oct. 2007
- Sulfasalazine 3 500mg tabs twice daily
- 500mg Vitamin C, 1 Multivitamin, L-Glutamine
- Max Acidophillis EC Capsules 350Mg(7 types of bacteria with over 42 billion viable cells) with 50 Mg colostrum & 50 Mg FOS(fructo-oligosaccharides)
- Experimenting with this or that on occasion. Always open to new ideas.
- Colonoscopies - 2 (Due for my next one ASAP)
- Canasa 1000mg @night. Started Oct. 23, 2008
- Niferex-150 Forte 1 capsule 2x Daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 2/28/2009 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have much pain with my flareups but I do get kinda of a feeling like there is a brick in my gut. I have urgency where I have to drop what I'm doing and get to the bathroom within 30 seconds. My BMs are pure liquid and become more frequent by the day. After about a week I start seeing blood and some mucous and have the urge to push even though there is nothing left. I loose weight very quickly and energy level goes down to a -10.

31 year old female diagnosed with UC (entire colon) Feb 2008
(4) 400mg Asacol 3x a day
Remicade 10mg/kg every 8 weeks
Omega 3 supp, calcium supp

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 2/28/2009 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine starts with mucous in a regular BM as an early sign. Sometimes I sense it and try to slow down my lifestyle, it goes away and I go back to the normal 1 solid BM each morning. Other times it's too late and it progresses towards a flare. A flare for me fortunately isn't much pain at all. Just loose BM's or liquid and blood, the worst of it in the morning. It will continue to get worse and more severe unless I go on Prednisone. Assuming I catch it early enough, it stops after a week or so on 40 mg's and I lose about 5 lbs total.

I'm a little surprised you can't get into your GI for 6 months. For a regular appointment, I may have to wait a while, but if I'm having a flare, she calls me back that day and I talk to her personally.
34 yr old female
Diagnosed with Pancolitis in 1/2007
Baby due 3/2009
Meds:1600 mg Asacol a day, Ferrex, Pre-Natal Vitamins, Lovenox, on and off Prednisone (40 mg then taper)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/1/2009 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I think you need to find another GI.

Common symptoms of UC are urgency, diarrhea, and blood. Some people experience pain. It sounds like you are having urgency and diarrhea, which means you could be flaring, although not as severely as someone who is bleeding.

The only way to know for sure what's going on inside your colon though is to have a colonoscopy done. No one should have to wait six months to see a GI. That's ridiculous. You should find another GI.

I'm surprised the GI secretary suggested for you to go to the hospital and not to see another GI or give you an earlier appointment. I went to the emergency room during my second flare when I was having trouble finding a GI. All they did was give me an IV for my dehydration and then send me home with the advise to see a GI ASAP. They couldn't admit me, because I wasn't anemic enough. Of course, other hospitals may have different procedures. I haven't had the best experiences with hospitals.

It doesn't matter what your colonoscopy showed four months ago. If you are having a flare now, a colonscopy from four months ago won't show it.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: anything with high-fructose corn syrup, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)

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