I'm no doctor but if your husband is going in and out of flares I'm thinking it's IBD (irritable bowel disease like UC or crohn's) not IBS. With IBS there isn't much you can take pill wise (prescript
ion anyway) to stop it but with IBD it's most likely that a person will need medication to help control the disease. If it's left untreated for too long your husband can have some serious complications a lot more sick. The no insurance thing is really hard. I'm sure there are cases of people who have just randomly gone into remission or who've found holistic ways that work...maybe you should create another post and title it "holistic remedies???" and maybe that will catch the eye of someone who knows of alternate solutions rather than prescript
ion drugs that are probably super expensive w/o insurance.
As for how long a flare last is way to difficult to say since everyone's bodies are different. Mine have lasted a year or so but the reason I ended up going into remission is due to the medications I'm currently on and a few that I had to take up until I got into remission. I personally have never went into remission w/o being on medication, I've actually flared when I've gone off my meds. And then there is my friend who has never been in remission and she's had UC for 6 years and she's taking prescript
ion meds. But what works for one doesn't always work for the other. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think trying to find someone who knows about
holistic methods of treatment would be your best option until you can get insurance or something. As for a diet my doctor always tells me "bland food" when I'm in a flare. It gets old after a while but sometimes you just have to do what you've gotta do to help ease the symptoms. Absolutely no red sauce like spaghetti sauce or tomatoes, nothing with acid so oranges, lemonade etc...sugar tends to cause me to have D more often so he'll probably want to stay away from that if he finds it does that to him also. Fiber only makes me go to the bathroom so if he's already having a lot of trips to the bathroom a day then i wouldn't personally recommend that. Avoid Fried food, spicy foods, chocolate, broccoli, cabbage, beans, oh and possibly anything that is "diet", i've found that whatever they use in diet pops, candies, gum etc often increases my chances of having to go to the bathroom especially when I'm in a flare. Fiber is better for constipation. Also dairy is probably good to avoid along with lettuce... basically anything that is hard for a "normal" person to digest he should stay away from since it will be 10 times harder for him to digest. If it's Diverticulitis that he has then he should not have any seeds whatsoever so that means no strawberries, raspberries, popcorn etc. He should keep a food journal to see which foods cause him more or less pain since everyone is different. There are foods that I tolerate w/ no problems that my friend can't even touch. Oh also avoid any medication whether it is over the counter or prescript
ion that cause blood thinning if he's bleeding because it will make that worse. IB profin is one to stay away from and excedrin since it has caffeine in it, Tylenol is ok though.
This is so hard to give advice on sometimes since some things work for some people and some don't. It's all about
trial and error really and just figuring out what works for you. This might sound harder to do than say and a little corny but you both have to try to stay positive and hopeful because getting depressed, stressed and worried will only exacerbate his symptoms. I know it's hard to not be worried and stressed all the time when you're constantly in pain and going to the bathroom but you have to try really hard to not be. It's an awful cycle. My first flare ever happened during a really stressful time for me, stress doesn't cause IBD but it does make it worse.
The ccfa.org website has a lot of good information for crohn's and colitis as it is The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.
Sorry for such a long response. I hope I have helped in any way. This is a tough disease to go through so anything I can do to help someone else I'm happy to do. I hope he finds relief soon!
~Was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2002.
Currently taking Colazal, Imuran and I am on Remicade.