However - my question is - is it normal to have a flare on a medication and be able to kick the flare and then stay on the original med, if it worked to begin with? I do not have Remicade antibodies, and my levels are consistent at each infusion.
For some reason, I thought that a good drug response meant indefinite remission, and that a flare meant an automatic treatment change, but maybe I'm mistaken.
There's one certainty with an UC, and that is that we all eventually do flare up even when we're religious about
taking our meds/supplements daily, are the poster-child for playing by all of the rules we know our own UC expects us to follow, are eating responsibly with foods our UC likes, etc. In fact, the definition of UC has that as a big part of it: "A chronic inflammatory bowel disease that goes through periods of flares and remissions". We do not know what causes flares, there's a bit of mystery to it all, we just suffer from UC's whims at times.
Mild flares are the very best kind to have. Mean that it's the least likelihood that our treatments have failed us (or better stated as least likelihood that our UC has progressed in extent or severity beyond what those treatments could handle/treat). You're doing the right thing, temporarily increasing dosages and temporarily adding in new medications. It is likely that you can reduce those extras once you re-enter a sustained remission. Just make sure you are inflammation-free for 2-6 months before dropping/tapering down those extras. That gives you the best odds of shutting down your body's immune response and switching it into a dormant state. And taper extras slowly, one-at-a-time, over a period of months.
More moderate or especially severe flares are great signs of disease progression warranting a permanent increase in what's needed to sustain a remission. As one doesn't free-fall through the footing of a bridge unless the foundation underneath you was weak to begin with. A mild flare is more like getting your feet muddy in an area you initially thought was dry, a mild inconvenience that comes as a surprise, but is quickly remedied.