Welcome to HealingWell, but I'm sorry to hear you have UC.
You'll want to ask your specialist how bad the UC is (mild, moderate, severe?) and what parts of your colon are infected. You may have proctitis (rectum only), proctosigmoiditis (rectum and the S-shaped curve just above it), left-sided or pancolitis (full colon.)
Typically biopsies are taken during the colonoscopy, and you want to know the results of these. What you don't want to hear is dysplasia, as that can point toward possible colon cancer. We are at a somewhat increased risk for that.
Ask if the doctor is reasonable sure you have Ulcerative Colitis and not Crohn's disease. The symptoms can be similar, but sometimes the treatments can be different. Asacol is a long-term maintenance medicine. Predisone is used short-term to induce remission, or lessening of symptoms.
The short-term side effects of Pred do tend to get worse the longer you take it. As you taper, the joint pain may get worse. The facial swelling and weight gain are primarily from fluid retention, and will slowly go away when you're off the Pred. For future reference, these can be minimized somewhat by watching your salt intake. Pred typically makes you crave salt or salty foods. The insomnia and acne will also clear after you're off the Pred. In the meantime, there's not much you can do about
ithe acne as it doesn't usually respond to regular acne treatments. Your sleep should get better as you get off the Pred.
Also ask your specialist about
rectal medications. The oral Asacol may not reach all the way to the rectum, and in UC that is the area that flares first and heals last. The drug in Asacol is also available in enema form or as a suppository. It's usually better to start with enemas if you have any involvement above the rectum itself. Enemas may also help with new flares and eliminate the need for steroids. If you do need steroids, they are also available in enema and suppository form, which often have fewer side effects.
I'm sure you'll get a lot of helpful information here, and welcome again to our forum.
Ulcerative colitis forum co-moderator
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001. Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006. Colazal, Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroids.
Chronic joint/connective tissue/muscle pain; TKR 05/09
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"