I eat a low fiber, low fat, bland diet when in a serious flare. I don't know if it helps get things under control, but it does help keep it from feeling like I have liquid fire coming out the other end.
For me, the surgery is just too final. I've always figured that with my luck, I'd take that extreme and irreversible step, and the next week they'd find a new drug that would cure UC. Also, the surgery isn't without risks and problems of its own. Many times it's a series of two or three surgeries with healing time, then time for the body to adjust and get back to normal.
On the other hand, I've encountered people who went very quickly for a j-pouch or ileostomy. It's an individual decision, but I think most people try everything else before they consider surgery.
Left-sided UC diagnosed 2001. Taking Colazal and Imuran, Remicade infusions and moving into remission. Finally off steroids after four years!
Now in remission for almost two years. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
"If you spend your time second-guessing your past decisions, you'll never have time to enjoy today."