Posted 7/14/2010 10:46 PM (GMT -6)
I agree with the comments on here. If you are in remission, it is because your meds are working.
I’m new here, so I thought I’d share my experience.
I was diagnosed with UC at 16 years of age, I’m now almost 29. My story is similar to Supa’s. Being a young man, I didn’t want to know about this disease. I started on 1 capsule (250mg) of Salazopyrin. After a while, my symptoms disappeared so I stopped the meds. After a night of heavy (underage) drinking, I got severe pancreatitis and some symptoms associated with UC. I continued the meds. I was lucky initially that I could go back on the same meds. After 2 years, I entered university and as with all young people I wanted to drink and party. Drinking and smoking I discovered made my condition worse (although doctors didn’t seem to know this!). I was hospitalized twice that year and my medicines changed to Olsalazine and prednisilone while I was in hospital. Some very shaky years went by when I didn’t know what would trigger symptoms. Compounded by my decreased confidence and running to the bathroom at any small discomfort, things didn’t get much better. During that time, I was on steroids after a few flares. With every flare, it seemed more difficult to get back to normal with the same meds.
Eventually, I gained some confidence and started to work through the disease. I’m now on 2g daily of Olsalazine and 125mg Azathioprine. Haven’t been in hospital for 4 years (since the last World Cup ;-p). And before that for almost 5 years. Each time I was in hospital was my own doing. Either drinking excessively or eating the wrong foods for prolonged periods (was into bodybuilding and eating way too much).
The biggest influence though is careful control of diet. No alcohol or smoking (except I cheat on special occasions). I rarely drink coffee and try to avoid softdrinks. No milk, but can have cheese (even brie and camembert seem OK sometimes), yoghurt and cream sometimes. I eat fruit, no worries but always peel first. I have 2-3 pieces of fruit per day (banana, apple and 1 other). Veggies are always boiled to soften (carrots, broccoli and even corn!). Peeled tomatoes and cucumbers etc. no leafy foods though.
I suppose the biggest lesson I learnt is that it takes trial and error. Specialists are limited in their understanding of the day to day issue of the illness. But my final thought: I truly believe a normal life can be achieved by taking the meds and eating the right foods. You can cheat once in a while, but not every day.
Sorry for the long post!