Seasonal flares?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 10/29/2007 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys, I've been reading about seasonal affective disorder and depression (a.k.a. winter blues) and wondered if anyone had insight on this related to UC flares. I've shown symptoms of my third flare and all 3 have started within a two week period. Every year in the first 2 weeks of October. I'm in Michigan. My wife had me order a light therapy lamp. Whatever works. I also came ready for battle this time - restricted diet prep., supplements galore, Ultra InflamX, cort enemas, Asacol. I'm winning this one.

Oh, and anyone with a GI telling them diet and stress don't really factor in, get a new doc.

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis April 2006

Asacol 3x4(400mg)/day
Hydrocortisone enemas when needed
Started Prednisone 40mg 2.26.07
Started tapering 5.18.07
Ended taper 7.04.07

Probiotics, fish oil, Bentyl(dicyclomine)
iodine, Bio-D-mulsion, Ultra InFlamx, acupuncture,
massage, sea salt,

Status: Flaring since 10/06
Remission achieved! 7/07

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 10/29/2007 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
My gastro, who subspecializes in IBD treatment, thinks that vitamin D is especially important for us. Maybe you should look into the Forvia vitamins. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 10/29/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a similar experience. I was diagnosed late winter/early spring, hospitalized for a week and house-bound for a month. Almost a year to the day later, I was back in the ER (Valentine's day, as a matter of fact). I've heard theories about a connection to SAD, seasonal allergies and holiday indulgences.
For what it's worth, I did feel very susceptible to SAD, even though I live in the South. I've always hated the short daylight hours of late fall, winter and early spring. about the time we go off daylight saving time, I pull out my full-spectrum lightbox and set it up on the dining table. I eat breakfast and dinner (about 30 min. each) in front of it and it does improve my spirits. I haven't had any major flares since using it, but I do alot of other supportive things, too, like dietary changes, taking probiotics and taking natural supplements.

Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
C-scope confirmed UC diagnosis 9/18/2007
No explanation for right side pain and thickening of bowel wall
Therapeutic dose sulfasalazine, back on a pred taper for first flare in years
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30986
   Posted 10/29/2007 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi...actually I like winter/fall where I live...definitely more sunshine. I'm more stressed during the Spring....but I do make sure I take Vitamin D year doc says we should make sure it's around 800 IU daily.

Lots of things can affect one's moods...including foods...I'm an emotional eater, either when happy or sad. But food doesn't affect my UC at all.

I've never tried a light box...but I've heard that they work well. I was thinking of getting one for the cloudy days...they are what bring me down when they're dark requiring lights to be on during the day. Feels like my eyes just don't want to open.

I love the long dark evenings....and being a night owl...that doesn't affect me. It's the darkeness during the daylight hours that do.
Weird. whatever works for you to maintain good spirits, mood and health.

*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 10/29/2007 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I have SAD (pretty bad some days in the winter) and I got a lamp too. It really does help with that. But I find that in the fall I tend to have an increase of symptoms. I live in Michigan too - don't you LOVE the gray days of winter??? Not! But my SAD doesn't always correspond to my UC flares. In fact, they seem out of sync with each other. But many have seasonal flares which I believe has to do with allergies. Allergies is basically your immune system working in overdrive to eradicate the foreign invaders (mold, mildew etc) which can also make it attack your colon as well. I find that if I control my allergy symptoms then my flares aren't as often or as severe.
Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal, Canasa, 6mp, Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia
Allergies - Singulair, Allegra, Astelin(got the script - just haven't tried it yet!)
Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc
Fibromyalgia - '06 
@--->--Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC--<---@


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