I tend to agree with you, Chiron. Of course, all of the genetic factors are not well understood...but my 23 and me analysis showed a "decreased genetic risk" for IBD. Yet, I have it. Decreased risk does not mean no risk, but still...
I am 100% positive that I did not develop UC due to a mesalamine or prednisone deficiency. I am also 100% positive that my microbiome has been repeatedly hit with the equivalent of Agent Orange. That's why I am looking at it the way I do.
Geeker, I had a quick conversation about
23andme recently with one of the leading UK geneticists for IBD, UK lead for this group www.ibdgenetics.org/about.html
. He said that the 23andme report is out of date. The reports have not been updated since July 2009 and a lot has been discovered since, particularly in relation to barrier function. So I would not go with them as an indication. I am looking forward to when 23andme put out their new reports from their specific IBD surveys although I don't know how reliable self report can be as there's nothing to stop people who presume they have IBD but are not medically confirmed entering their details.
I agree with you that antibiotics are likely a factor, although they have helped me sometimes too. I do think of my disease as autoimmune, or perhaps "super immune" as I have a massively reactive immune system and my flares usually come alongside physical illness, especially enteroviruses. My CRP shoots up with any infection.
John - do give up the diet soda. I just saw a great talk explaining what it does, I'm not going to try to relay it myself as it was complex but it messes with certain receptors. Not to mention the other rubbish in them or just the gas.
You say you were better in Asia - there's probably a few things there that contributed, perhaps as you say, a diet that was easier on your body, maybe the sun, (vit D deficiency being a possible contributor to IBD), maybe you were more mentally fulfilled over there, maybe you were a bit more physically active, or differently active. I spent a lot of time in South East Asia, I never started a flare when there but I did go there once in flare and it was very active while there so I do think that once flares start what might help is different from what might stop them triggering in the first place.
You are improving slowly you say so be patient. Lialda is not an immune suppresant by the way. The way it works in IBD is not agreed on but it does have some antibacterial and antifungal properties as well as antiflammatory properties. You say your UC is left sided now. Lialda dissolves the lowest in the colon of all the meslazines as far as I understand. It might be worth asking your GI for another mesalazine preparation that releases earlier on in the colon just to see if that helps get to a bit you are not reaching.