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UC Symptoms

Hello all!
I know I've posted a fair few questions lately but your advice means so much- my GP or pharmacist don't seem to know anything about my condition and my gastro is very by the book and doesn't seem to like questions.
To this day, noone has actually explained my condition to me- I've had to google it all! (Ulcerative Proctitis and left sided colitis)
ANYHOW! I have been on pentasa for around 5 weeks now. My bloody diarrhea has stopped as well as urgency and frequency although I get so so SO much gas and the last week I have been doing 3-5 very soft poos a day. Is this me now in remission? Or if I change my diet will it help with my gas etc?
All I was told by my gastro is that stress and food has no affect on my proctitis/colitis (which I think he is wrong!)
Any advice would be awesome!
I will concur that your GI is incorrect -- while stress and food cannot CAUSE the disease, it certainly can aggravate the symptoms.

A remission is described as an absence of symptoms and an absence of inflammation in the affected area. For you to be declared in remission, your rectum and left side would have to be scoped and come out looking pink and healthy after the camera trip. Lots of gas + 3-5 soft BM a day is definitely not remission.

If the blood subsided it means the Pentasa has been effective in treating some inflammation. It may take more time to put you in remission, or it may take a few more weeks, months, or it may never be enough and require additional treatments.

There is a biochemical response to stress stimuli and it does have an effect on your body, and it does make my colitis symptoms worse. Hell, a colleague of mine has Crohn's and was in remission with Remicade for the past nine years, then suddenly, her father dies and the stress brought back the colitis. She had to be hospitalized for two weeks, and she had not changed her diet or her lifestyle. The stress of her father's death was enough. Stress will make things worse.

Your disease stems from a misconfigured immune system. This misconfiguration is the result of genetic mutations on genes that code for the immune system. As such, the disease is there to stay, and food will not change this. Certain food can however irritate the bowel, causing additional inflammation, which makes symptoms worse.
Things like gluten, lactose, certain fats, are harder for the bowel to digest. The harder the bowel works to digest your food, the bigger the chances it'll tire out and become more inflamed. That's why people switch to liquid diets when in a terrible flare, and some have even resorted to eating like cavemen for the rest of their life by adopting the paleolithic diet.

Many people on the paleo diet have reported massive improvements in their symptoms and some even claim remission. Simply put, by adopting a simple diet that gives our bowel a break, sometimes, it gives it enough breathing room to heal properly on its own.

Assuming your GI is by the book, he'll want to try these treatments and in that order:

1. Targeted 5-ASAs anti-inflammatory (like your pentasa)
2. Immunomodulators (Imuran, 6MP, Aza)
3. Biologics (Remicade first, then Humira if it stops working eventually or never works)

After that it's surgery for us.

The good news is that if the pentasa doesn't work, you still have a lot of options in front of you. Meanwhile, yes, changes in diet may very well help with gases, but you will have to experiment, because our reaction to foods is extremely personal and unique. What irritates me might be fine for you.

My advice: use an excel sheet to track you eat (everything) as well as time of each BM. After a few weeks of data collecting, you may have enough to conclude certain foods are to be avoided!
woah that's some good info Francis.
missy, I have left sided colitis and proctitis too. the proctitis is the hardest to shift. im on remicade and when its worked and I was in remission I had absolutely no symptoms. it was like I never had the blasting disease. I find flares start of with mucous and gas, then tenamus, urgency etc, and then at its peak bloody diarrhoea. then as it starts healing it goes in reverse. sound like you're doing well and on the road to remission.
good tip about the food diary. I found out eggs are my worst enemy but the most common ones are dairy and gluten.
good luck.
Try probiotics, they can help aid in digestion and repair any good bacteria losses in your GI tract. I take culturelle and florastor, these should help your digestion some. Some people benefit a lot from these, so give one or both a try. I think the culturelle is enough it's self.
I'll echo what others have said.

Stress is very much a trigger for me. Gas is also one of my symptoms. Generally my UC is controlled by Asacol and a probiotic. I started the probiotic in agreement with my gastro and it has helped a lot.

Sometimes a GasX or similar over-the-counter will help me with a little temporary relief of gas.

I have not ever noted a particular food trigger (and I've looked), but that seems to be uncommon. Many people do seem to have food triggers and keeping track of your diet for a couple of weeks might help. You might also try cutting out some of the more common problem foods, maybe one at a time for a week, to see if that helps.