After long periods of remission what causes flare ups

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mollymcbutter
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/21/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I was again wide awake with my prednisone induced insomnia about 4 in the morning again, and got to wondering if anyone knows why say you are pretty much symptom free for months even years, you continue same meds, same eating habits for the most part and then all of a sudden things go on the downslide and of course seems when that happens takes so long to get it back again to a type of normality (well of sorts) what changes happens to cause this.  Just wondering if anyone knows or has a theory about this, does it have to do with the cells overmultiplying on their own causing havoc once again? ....Molly

Peety
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 3/21/2009 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I wish I knew!!
There does seem to be something about the change in seasons. That's the only thing I notice, but then that's four opportunities per year so it may just be coincidence.
I actually do better under stress, so for me it's not that.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering. Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated all wheat/gluten from my diet. Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion), trying Curamin. 
Flaring, seasonal? or supplements too harsh? Back on prednisone, down to 10 mg. Waiting for insurance decison on Humira... 


Zippy123
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 3/21/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
That's just the problem is what is the real underlying cause for UC. If the real cause was or is known then we would know what exactly to do about it.
Seems now days all they want to do is treat symptoms and keep you buying drugs and not cure anything, conspiracy? maybe, but that sure fits the bill now days with everything from cancer to UC.

I have been trying to come up with some kind of consistent reason for UC. Here is what I come up with so far right or wrong.

Probiotics for one reason or another seems the most common helpful non-drug. So keeping the right balance of the right bacteria and yeast in your colon is a factor in helping many people even if it doesn't always completely cure it. Possibly heavy antibiotic usage is part of the reason some people get Colitis. It is a well known fact that antibiotics will mess up the balance of bacteria and yeast in your colon. I wonder if colitis was a problem before the invention of antibiotics? Could antibiotics cause autoimmune issues even?

Stress seems to be the final straw the kick starts Colitis into a full blown episode many times, stress alters your entire body and weakens your immune system. Even if you don't have colitis, stress can give people a nervous stomach and make them go to the bathroom.

Genetics. If you inherit sensitive bowels, you are more likely to get Colitis it seems. Just like you will probably have a heart attack if you inherit that from your family. Stress tends to play a part in bringing these things into reality.

Diet plays a big part if you are flaring and especially if your body is sensitive to gluten or lactose. Apparently it can be a almost a non factor with some people if they are in complete remission. I don't think that diet is a sole cause of UC originally, but it may play a part by eating to much sugar and carbs and feeding the already compromised balance of colon flora. Sugar tends to also weaken your immune system.

Autoimmune disease, body attacking itself for no reason never made any sense to me, there is an underlying cause for this somewhere, just like cancer. Vitamin D for one reason or another is short on most people with autoimmune diseases, and most people who have them tend to live in area's where there is a less sunlight such as Northern America and Canada for example. Sunlight of course is a main source of vitamin D.

I'm no expert, but just like you I am looking for a common underlying cause to this disease.

jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 3/21/2009 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   

It's the nature of the disease. I like to say UC comes and goes as it pleases.

For some people it's seasonal; stress can help provoke a flare also. But basically it's just how UC is, and not all the flare triggers are identified yet.


Judy
 
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.


mollymcbutter
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/21/2009 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Zippy for your input on this...it is an on-going mystery for sure and even more baffling sometimes for those of us who got it at a very early age...hopefully someday they will have more answers.  Just curious also about the probiotics, though I have been taking them for a while, I haven't in the last few days, seemed on the probiotics had more gaseous stomach.  Don't know if that is the norm for most people who take them.
Zippy123 said...
That's just the problem is what is the real underlying cause for UC. If the real cause was or is known then we would know what exactly to do about it.
Seems now days all they want to do is treat symptoms and keep you buying drugs and not cure anything, conspiracy? maybe, but that sure fits the bill now days with everything from cancer to UC.

I have been trying to come up with some kind of consistent reason for UC. Here is what I come up with so far right or wrong.

Probiotics for one reason or another seems the most common helpful non-drug. So keeping the right balance of the right bacteria and yeast in your colon is a factor in helping many people even if it doesn't always completely cure it. Possibly heavy antibiotic usage is part of the reason some people get Colitis. It is a well known fact that antibiotics will mess up the balance of bacteria and yeast in your colon. I wonder if colitis was a problem before the invention of antibiotics? Could antibiotics cause autoimmune issues even?

Stress seems to be the final straw the kick starts Colitis into a full blown episode many times, stress alters your entire body and weakens your immune system. Even if you don't have colitis, stress can give people a nervous stomach and make them go to the bathroom.

Genetics. If you inherit sensitive bowels, you are more likely to get Colitis it seems. Just like you will probably have a heart attack if you inherit that from your family. Stress tends to play a part in bringing these things into reality.

Diet plays a big part if you are flaring and especially if your body is sensitive to gluten or lactose. Apparently it can be a almost a non factor with some people if they are in complete remission. I don't think that diet is a sole cause of UC originally, but it may play a part by eating to much sugar and carbs and feeding the already compromised balance of colon flora. Sugar tends to also weaken your immune system.

Autoimmune disease, body attacking itself for no reason never made any sense to me, there is an underlying cause for this somewhere, just like cancer. Vitamin D for one reason or another is short on most people with autoimmune diseases, and most people who have them tend to live in area's where there is a less sunlight such as Northern America and Canada for example. Sunlight of course is a main source of vitamin D.

I'm no expert, but just like you I am looking for a common underlying cause to this disease.

Zippy123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 3/21/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Apparently some people do get gas with some probiotics brands. I never had a problem with them so far myself. There are quite a few choices out there, so maybe try another brand if the current one you take gives you gas. Quality for price, I read the Jarrow brand is good for what you pay. I think I will consider Jarrow as my next probiotic purchase. If yogurt doesn't bother you, can even try Danactive, but it doesn't work well with me.

Jarrow, Culturelle, Ezymatic Pearls, Digestive Advantage, VSL 3 (very expensive), Threelac (pricey), just to name a few decent brands. Look at how high of a active culture count each brand has and if they are protected from your stomach acid.

It is very hard to tell what works and what doesn't when a person takes multiple things at the same time, but from what I found many people found probiotics to be helpful to some degree, so it is worth a shot.

mollymcbutter
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/21/2009 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I do use the VSL3, very expensive, but they do have it by prescription now with tons more strains of good bacteria in it.  My doctor did give me the prescription for it, but the insurance company would not pay it, they look at it as simply a dietary supplement, but I hear some insurance companies do pay for it.  Thanks for the suggestions
Zippy123 said...
Apparently some people do get gas with some probiotics brands. I never had a problem with them so far myself. There are quite a few choices out there, so maybe try another brand if the current one you take gives you gas. Quality for price, I read the Jarrow brand is good for what you pay. I think I will consider Jarrow as my next probiotic purchase. If yogurt doesn't bother you, can even try Danactive, but it doesn't work well with me.

Jarrow, Culturelle, Ezymatic Pearls, Digestive Advantage, VSL 3 (very expensive), Threelac (pricey), just to name a few decent brands. Look at how high of a active culture count each brand has and if they are protected from your stomach acid.

It is very hard to tell what works and what doesn't when a person takes multiple things at the same time, but from what I found many people found probiotics to be helpful to some degree, so it is worth a shot.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/21/2009 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
It's one of the major things that researchers are struggling to figure out as well...it's pretty much just the nature of the beast but what researchers have found is that there are a cluster of 9 gene cells that predict the severity and behaviour of the disease, of course much still needs to be learned about this cluster and who knows how many other genes they'll find that are also related.

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


mollymcbutter
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/21/2009 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
It sure does make me think about genetics because in my family there is lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes 1 (don't know if that is autoimmune?) definitely there is IBS, so there certainly seems to be genetics playing a role in this  My cousin who has lupus believes it has a lot to do with environment?
pb4 said...
It's one of the major things that researchers are struggling to figure out as well...it's pretty much just the nature of the beast but what researchers have found is that there are a cluster of 9 gene cells that predict the severity and behaviour of the disease, of course much still needs to be learned about this cluster and who knows how many other genes they'll find that are also related.

:)


Zippy123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 3/21/2009 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
mollymcbutter said...
It sure does make me think about genetics because in my family there is lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes 1 (don't know if that is autoimmune?) definitely there is IBS, so there certainly seems to be genetics playing a role in this My cousin who has lupus believes it has a lot to do with environment?


pb4 said...

It's one of the major things that researchers are struggling to figure out as well...it's pretty much just the nature of the beast but what researchers have found is that there are a cluster of 9 gene cells that predict the severity and behaviour of the disease, of course much still needs to be learned about this cluster and who knows how many other genes they'll find that are also related.

:)




Yes my one sister was just recently diagnosed with RA, which is another auto immune disease. Well she had colitis for about 10 years now, but manages it without drugs for the most part. My other siblings though, don't have this problem yet, and they are all older by quite a bit. My mom's parents both had colon issues of some sort and died from them. Genetics definitely play a part in many diseases. Genetics makes us weak to certain health issues, but does that mean genetics actually trigger the disease to start at some point in our life or is there other factors?
On a side note, my sister is a RN, as an RN they are required to get immunization shots every year. My sister said almost all the girls she works with in this elderly health care place, a fairly small group, have some kind of autoimmune disease of one kind or another. She wonders if constantly getting these immunization shots is part of it, who knows.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/21/2009 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Zippy, I think researchers feel that genetics is one part of the equation to IBD but the other 1/2 of the equation is the disease being triggered probably by some environmental means which could very likely include food/diet (which I know some people hate to believe but facts are facts that food/diet has not been ruled out as possible triggers for IBD). So there could be many potential IBDers walking around that have not had their disease triggered for them yet and they have no clue they could become an IBDer at some point (or maybe never if it's not triggered) in their lives.

Here's a link from the CCFC regarding IBD/genetics that some of you might appreciate...

 

http://www.ccfc.ca/English/research/todaysresearch.html

 

:)


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


Geeve
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/21/2009 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I've managed my U.C. for years with diet, and had a really bad flare this year after taking antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. Totally forgot about that, it had been so long, and am paying for it now. But lots of cabbage etc and I'm healing ... again ... slowly. Good luck, Molly.
Geeve
 
dx 2001 in transverse & descending colon
Asacol only, then tapered off; managing now with diet
 
Enjoying life's blessings (my hubby/best friend; my cats)
Learning new things (poker, knitting, what's next?!!)


mollymcbutter
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/21/2009 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Geeve, what kind of diet more or less do you follow
Geeve said...
I've managed my U.C. for years with diet, and had a really bad flare this year after taking antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. Totally forgot about that, it had been so long, and am paying for it now. But lots of cabbage etc and I'm healing ... again ... slowly. Good luck, Molly.


Geeve
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/21/2009 10:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Lots more fruits & vegetables than I ate before UC, that's for sure. No cola drinks; just herbal teas or water for the most part. If I eat meats or pastas, I only eat a small portion, and only after fiber. Things that work for some people don't work for others, but when things are bad I have 2 things every day.
1. "Magic applesauce". I throw some red cabbage, carrot, apple, and ginger in a blender with a little honey. If I can get the fresh apple cider, I use a little of that for consistency, or the blender will jam. It looks like strawberry applesauce when it's done, and isn't embarrasing to pack for lunch.
2. Cabbage & onions. I cook them and add something for flavor; maybe salt, or soy sauce; sometimes a little cut up hot dog or kielbasa. That's what I had for dinner tonight.

Do you have any foods that help you? I'm always looking to learn!
Geeve
 
dx 2001 in transverse & descending colon
Asacol only, then tapered off; managing now with diet
 
Enjoying life's blessings (my hubby/best friend; my cats)
Learning new things (poker, knitting, what's next?!!)


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/22/2009 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Peety said...
I wish I knew!!
There does seem to be something about the change in seasons. That's the only thing I notice, but then that's four opportunities per year so it may just be coincidence.
I actually do better under stress, so for me it's not that.


I got all my flares near the end of August--right after the first cold spell of the year.

I skipped one year. That's the year I did fecal transplantation.

Perhaps I should buy an electric blanket for next year.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission
Don't expect your doctor to cure your health problems. Your health is your responsibility.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Avoid HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
When flaring: eat anti-inflammatory foods, avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)


Ouchie2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 330
   Posted 3/22/2009 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
yesssss genetics..thats why since I have been diagnosed with this gene it makes more sense.....alot of people with UC have this gene....
38 year old female
UC - Diagnosed 2006
HLA-B27 Gene
Iritis 2008
4 x Asacol
100mg Mercaptopurine (6MP)
Doxycycline


Zippy123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 3/22/2009 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
pb4 said...
Zippy, I think researchers feel that genetics is one part of the equation to IBD but the other 1/2 of the equation is the disease being triggered probably by some environmental means which could very likely include food/diet (which I know some people hate to believe but facts are facts that food/diet has not been ruled out as possible triggers for IBD). So there could be many potential IBDers walking around that have not had their disease triggered for them yet and they have no clue they could become an IBDer at some point (or maybe never if it's not triggered) in their lives.


Here's a link from the CCFC regarding IBD/genetics that some of you might appreciate...



http://www.ccfc.ca/English/research/todaysresearch.html



:)


Thanks for the link. They really should have antibiotics and stress on the list of triggers.
On a side note, did you know in 2006 a study shown Canada has among the highest incidences of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease cases per person in the world. While China and Africa the disease is about non existent. They think maybe it has to do with kids from these countries being exposed to more intestinal bacteria in the water along with genetics, but they are only guessing. I think maybe they aren't exposed to as many antibiotics either, is my theory.

Deacon Blues
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 3/22/2009 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
So is the question "what CAUSES UC, or what exacerbates UC?" I think you are asking "what exacerbates UC?"...I am still trying to hone in on this. DIet, stress...I want to start running regularly again and am very suspicious that all the pounding or jarring of running exacerbates my UC. OR is it the STRESS that is related to the running? I am convinced that stress is a prime factor in exacerbation of UC along with other factors. I also have started working th night shift again at the hospital and I know that THIS sleep cycle messes me up some. Unfortunately it is not possible in our world/culture to keep everything on an even keel...
Diagnosed with UC in Dec of 1999
PANCOLITIS-mild to moderate (remission for 2 years +!!)
3X400mg Asacol 3x per day
Mild flares a couple times a year
46 yrs old


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 3/22/2009 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
For me, it seems that cold weather, stress, alcohol and not getting enough sleep may be the main things that cause a flare-up or make one worse, though it's hard to know for sure.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa; Canasa; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops; Ortho Tri-Cyclen

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