I am new here, but have been reading some of the posts over the last couple of months.
I was diagnosed with UC about 9 years ago, when I was 27. I had a flare up for many months that I could not completly get into control with Asacol and Rowasa. I did not make many dietary changes with this flare up. During my flare up, my appendix ruptured. I developed infections after the surgery and was put on heavy pain meds and antibiotics. From what I can remember (the pain meds were very strong and affected my memory), my flare up was gone within a week of the surgery. The hospital had pulled my off of the Rowasa and Asacol after the surgery. I visited my GI after I recovered (about 3 months after surgery). He was very puzzled that I did not have any UC symptoms and had not been taking the UC drugs (almost like he didn't believe me). He even game me a painful rectal exam to check for blood that came up negative. This was my last visit to this doctor.
about 4 weeks before Thanksgiving 2010, the diarrhea started. At first only a couple times a day, but it was getting more frequent. I was strongly suspect that my UC was back. I tried my old GI, but he had moved out of the area and his partner could not see me until January. They suggested I go to my normal doctor, which I did. My normal doctor did not know what to do, but he made some phone calls and put me on 40 mg of Prednisone and Rowasa. This offered some relief, but the side effects from the Pred were unbearable (the moodiness). I weened myself off of the Pred and continued with the Rowasa. The Pred seemed to make me feel better, mood wise, but did little else. At this point, by UC flare up was in full swing with 10-20 BM's a day. I started making some major dietary changes like removing alcohol and caffeine. Also, I started with some herbal treatments and probiotics. Nothing seemed to help.
I struggled to find a GI in December that would take a new patient or had openings that could fit with my schedule. I started the Pred again at the end of December when I was feeling particularly bad. It gave the the same result of improving my mood.
I found a new GI in early January. He continued my Pred and added Lialda. and Welchol (for the diarrhea). I continued to make dietary changes like now removing dairy products (except Kefir), removing Gluten, and almost all sugar. I had already lost 20 pounds and continued to lose another 10 pounds. This was concerning me, since I was not overweight prior to the flare up. In addition to the weight loss, I develped night sweats. Also, out of the 15-20 BM's aday, at least 4 were in the middle of the night. I once again weened my self off of the Pred and stopped taking the Welchol (I noticed no affects from the Welchol).
I recieved my Colonoscopy two days after being off the drugs and the GI stated I had moderate to severe UC affecting the entire colon. He put me on Diphen/Atropine for my diarrhea and I stopped the Welchol. The next three days after the Colonoscopy I felt terrible. The day after the Colonocopy I started some new symptoms which included drowsyness (I could not get out of bed or off the couch), severe intestinal/stomache cramping (it was bad before, but this was so bad I would dry heave), and nausea (which caused me to eat very little). I blamed the new symptoms on the new drug (Diphen/Atropine) and stopped taking it a day after starting it. The new symptoms did not stop after stopping D/A. I went on 20 mg of Pred on the third day and my three new symptoms were gone by the next day.
The day after starting Pred, again, my wife made me an appointment with an Acupuncturist. I did not want to go since I was very skeptical and I was worried I would have to run to the toilet in the middle of a treatment. I agreed to go and the Acupuncturist saw me at 6pm night (he said I was an emergency). He spent over an hour and a half working on me, although I only paid $100 for an hour. I did not have to go to the toilet during the visit, in fact, I did not have to go until about 3 am.
The next day, I felt very relaxed, but still had about 15 BM's, but only got up once during the night (normally 3-4 times). The next day I had about 8 BM's and slept throught the night for the first time in about a month! Yesterday, I had 3 BM's and slept through the night again!
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give the drug background. I can not help but give much of the credit for this apparent recovery to the Acupucture since I have been on drugs for about 3 months with limited effects. Has anyone else tried this treatment?