1. What people with UC can and can't eat is really individualistic. So basically, it's trial and error.
2. A flare up means you're having symptoms, which also vary from person to person. So far, for me that means severe urgent diarrhea (15-20 BMs a day at my worst), with some bleeding, but not much pain.
3. Remission means no symptoms.
4. My doc thinks mild/moderate/severe is how bad your symptoms are, not how bad your inflammation is, but others might have a different view.
5. One theory of what causes UC is that your immune system has decided to attack your colon. I don't think it really affects your immune system too much otherwise. Some of the meds used to treat UC can weaken it, though.
6. There is no cure b/c the immune system keeps attacking the colon. So, you have to stay on medications that either keep the inflammation under control or suppress your immune system/immune response.
7. Educate them. www.ccfa.org is a good place to start.
8. You'll have to figure that out for yourself.
9. Yes. After you've had it for 8-10 years you should have a colonoscopy every 1-2 years to check for colon cancer, as we are at an increased risk.
10. For some, it can really affect their life. I'm still too new to UC to really know if it's going to cause me much problems or not.
11. Educate yourself. Read as much as you can about treatment options and such. It's nice being able to have an intelligent conversation with your doctor about what treatments you can try.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly,
40mg 30mg 20mg 15mg 10mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).