Ulcerative Colitis Tips


The FREE iHaveUC eBook "Ulcerative Colitis Tips" is made available to all members of the 15,000 person newsletter group INSTANTLY. It is several pages of tips gathered from other people living with Ulcerative Colitis, and has ideas which can be put into action immediately. You will need to enter your email, and confirm the email address afterwards.

Would Love Some Advise!

recent picture of me

Meet the biker from Texas:

YO! My name is Ragnar and I live in Austin, Texas. I’ve been here for a couple years and I own and manage a pedicab company. Yes, even someone with UC like myself can haul around a bunch of people on a tricycle all night! I also love to ride motorcycles, bicycles, swim, travel….

Colitis Symptoms:

I’m experiencing extreme urgency at times, bloody diarrhea, cramps, low energy, depression.

Colitis Story:

I’m going through a pretty tough time right now and it is definitely a big help to hear from some people who have also been dealing with IBD. I have been having moderate to severe symptoms for a little over 2 years but I’ve always had a sensitive tummy growing up. The health insurance that I have is very minimal so getting an appointment with the GI doctor is a nightmare.  It took me almost 6 months since I saw my primary to get a colonoscopy and be diagnosed. Apparently I have Ulcerative Colitis and not Crohn’s but it seems like the symptoms and drugs are very similar.

In May they put me on Prednisone and Asacol which made me feel a whole lot better for a while. I was on the Prednisone for about a month and stayed on the Asacol through this whole time. My symptoms where very mild after the prednisone but returned in August perhaps related to slightly more than normal alcohol intake. I don’t drink very often but I did one day in August and it seemed like the symptoms returned and persisted until this day. I went back to the doctor and they put me back on the prednisone for another month. It helped for maybe the first week but the side effects were so horrible they basically outweighed the positive. I stayed on it anyways but I’ve been in worse shape than ever.

It’s pretty hard to do anything fun or go to work.

pedicab austin

I own my own Pedicab business, and here I am cruising the city of Austin, Texas.

My parents are pretty worried about me as well since my attitude about the whole thing is pretty negative. I’m usually a very positive and outgoing person but this disease has really dragged me down. I’m nervous about taking any more drugs because their side effects. I’m considering going to a homeopath or perhaps acupuncture but I also don’t want to throw my money away. I’m also contemplating doing a fast for a few days to see if that can alleviate my symptoms. It’s just hard to be hungry when you’re alone and already kind of depressed. I feel like I’ve tried every damn diet there is and with no success! I’ve been on SCD for about 8 months with little or no improvements.

Where I’d like to be in 1 year:

I would love to have my symptoms under control to the point where UC is not limiting my freedom to be happy and do what I want to do.

Colitis Medications:

Horrible experience with Prednisone the second time I took it. Been on Asacol for a while but it doesn’t seem to be helping a whole lot.

written by Ragnar

submitted in the colitis venting area




Austin, pedicab

36 Responses to Would Love Some Advise!

  1. Adam
    Adam November 1, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Hey Ragnar,

    I was thinking all night about your story, and I’m wondering if your doctors have every had you complete a stool sample test for c-diff?

    It’s not common, but everyone once in a while us UC’ers get this additional bonus to our UC and it can get pretty nasty. You can search for other stories about c-diff in the search bar up in the top right of the site if you haven’t heard of it.

    Just an idea, but I for example came down with c-diff shortly after my diagnosis back in 2008 and once that was fixed, I noticed some definite improvement, and it allowed me to focus more on controlling my UC.

    I’ll keep thinking, cause I’m sure the pedicab needers in Austin are missing you some nights.

    Thanks for sharing, and I’m going to try to flag you down when i’m in Austin.

    -Adam

    • Ragnar
      Ragnar November 1, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Thanks y’all for the input! Come to think of it I’m pretty sure that I had c diff when I first went to the doctor and it was treated. On the other hand they didn’t do any tests after that to check that it was gone. Not sure if that is standard procedure or not. Either way I’m going to my regular doctor tomorrow and I’ll check with him. Hopefully I’ll get to see the gi soon but this bootleg health plan that I have is pretty much a joke! I refuse to take prednisone again since the last time I felt like I was having a bad trip and it didnt even make me feel any better. Something has gotta change because I was up last night with intense cramps and going to the bathroom only to wake up starving. It’s like a sick joke! How am I supposed to eat or enjoy eating knowing the pain it’s going to cause?!?! Going to see a homeopath next week so maybe they’ll have some advise. Thanks y’all!

      • Hammad
        hammad November 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

        hay Ragner,
        You are not alone and i truly feel your frustration. The way doctors treat the disease is going to be a trial and error kinda procedure, untill you finally find what really works for you. But like you said with your bootleg insurance its kinda hard to do so, i am sure you looking for a solution right away. A few things you should try on your own is fish oil and aloe vera juice and also drink a lot of coconut juice. You mentioned about going to a homeopathic doctor ..i hope u find a good homeopath..i have tried that before because it just never gave me rapid results …you have to be very patient with it. Before you go to him make a journal and observe your disease closely because they will ask you everything from the color of your stool to the smell and also as far as what do u dream about. They will give u a medicine based on what u tell him. I wish u best of luck and let me know if u find some relief.

        • Ragnar
          Ragnar November 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

          Thanks hammad! I appreciate your input! I definitely feel like I need to do some more research about the homeopath. Unfortunately I havent found a ton if resources on it locally. I think I’m going to try to get in touch with some more local UCers if possible. When you say coconut juice do you mean regular coconut water? I’ve drank a bunch of that like zico etc and actually had raging diarrhea after. Maybe not the best for me. I am taking fish oil supplements and I have tried aloe juice but stopped since it wasnt part of the scd diet.

  2. Tiernee
    Tiernee November 1, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Adam has some good advice there. I was treated for C.diff as well. Be patient too, it takes time to heal especially after being sick for awhile. Be good to yourself and don’t be sad, you have great hair! :)

  3. Ann November 1, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Ragnar…I hear you loud and clear…I was diagnosed with uc at age 25 in December 1988 after just having my first son that year. I went ahead and had a second son in 1990. Come to find out, having uc and children is exhausting! I know my children have suffered from me having this sickness…it has been quite a journey. Just this month I have decided to go off asacol since I had great news from my last colonoscopy results in September 2012. I had a nightmare flare in June and July of this year…started eating oatmeal with milk and honey everyday in August and came up with my most perfect colonoscopy I have ever had since being diagnosed with this crazy disease in 1988. I am very active with biking, skiing, walking and now going to the gym. Believe me I have been to hell and back with the frusration of keeping this thing under control. Hang in there! There is hope! Keep trying new things with your diet…you might be surprised what you find…start integrating anti-inflammatory foods into what you eat…it helped me…a lot! I didn’t start getting serious about this food thing until I came upon Adam’s website this summer…also, foods you eat during a flare may be different than what you are eating in remission. GOOD LUCK!

    • Ragnar
      Ragnar November 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Thanks Ann! I definitely agree with you! Right now my diet is haunting me! I’ve been on the scd for almost a year but I’m the worst I’ve ever been. Should I jump ship even hearing about everyone else’s miracle results? I was pretty amped about the diet when I first started it but now I think I’m still on it because it’s what I’m used to eating. Perhaps I’m not eating the right scd foods? I keep it pretty simple: usually eat chicken or fish and butternut squash and few different cooked veggies. I’ll have some bananas and peanut butter once in a while with the occasional honey. I have dreams of gorging a burger and having a beer like the good old days. Regardless I’m pretty content with the diet but the last few months I’ve been a disaster. Might need to cut back on the fiber?

      • massybird November 2, 2012 at 1:18 am #

        I’ve attempted the SCD many times and I did not see results for over a year at one point. What helped me was to cut out dairy completely (should’ve done this earlier!) and I stopped eating any nuts, including peanut butter, and honey. I find that too much sugar messes with my system. I know, yet more things to cut out but I eat sensible portions of meat, lots of veggies, all well cooked (squash, carrots, peas, avocado, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, chard, kale, daikon root, roasted beats, … and the list goes on) and occasionally some fruit, berries are the best as they have low sugar content. Trust me, once you figure out what works for you, you will not look at it as “I’m cutting things out of my diet” but instead will look at it as “I’m choosing to eat these foods because they make me feel fantastic!”

        My dad once asked me a question when I was really depressed over UC: “What’s the difference between people that fail or succeed?… The ones that succeeded kept on trying”.

        Keep trying and best of luck!

        • Ragnar
          Ragnar November 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

          Thanks! I’m really trying hard to figure it all out! I will admit that I’ve cheated a lot an ha some juices from concentrate. Wonder of that has affected me at all. Haven’t been for a couple weeks. I know that from reading about it, a small amount can be bad. I’m sticking with it also because I feel good in other ways from being on the diet. Thanks for your response!

          • massybird November 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

            Just make sure you’re not too tough on yourself! :) You’ll figure it out. Best of luck.

  4. Melissa Lawler November 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi Ragnar! I am Melissa and I live in South Dakota, the motorcycle capital of the world! Were you drinking in Sturgis when the latest flare started? We have all been there and I am there now. All you can do is keep a good attitude. I know how difficult that can be.

    • Ragnar
      Ragnar November 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      Haha! Not quite!! Although it sounds like fun! Maybe next year I’ll ride up there to sturgis! I did recently do a trip to Athens, Ga and Nashville, tn!! It was a blast but a challenge to work around my UC.

      • Melissa Lawler November 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

        I know what you mean. If I have to go anywhere it has to be planned. I don’t eat and drink very little. Dehydration works well for quick trips! Let me know if you do decide to come up. We can meet for a drink (in my case it will be tea or soda. Alcohol makes me feel worse.)

        • Ragnar
          Ragnar November 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

          Awesome! I always find an excuse to ride my moto!!

  5. bev November 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi Rangar,

    You said a mouthful about this disease dragging an otherwise very positive and optomistic person, down. I hear that!

    Have you ever tried a GOOD probiotic? It can take a few weeks to see results, but I have had UC for about 15 years, and for the first time in all that rime, I am in total remission…and MED FREE! Those beautiful little probiotics worked for me! No joke. I know it’s hard to believe. Unlike you, the drugs made me feel even worse than the stupid disease, so, well, I just could not stay on them any more. I was on asacol in different doses for over 13 years straight! I wish I would have tried probiotics sooner. Really.

    Now, I take one probiotic capsule per day, first thing in the am, and some L-glutamine powder in some juice, every day. Nothing else!! All systems are GO…in a good way these days!

    Keep that good attitude…you’re a great looking guy who probably looks alot better smiling!

    Cheers, and welcome to this site. Thanks to the people on here, I am where I am now!

    Bev:)

    • Ragnar
      Ragnar November 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      Thanks! Said goodbye to the booze right after I woke up and with some nasty results. I wasnt drinking a ton maybe a couple drinks a week. However the time it got me I definitely had more than a couple:/ I’m taking an probiotic but I should probably try the glutamine as its something I haven’t tried. I feel like I need to try everything before I can consider any heavier drugs or surgery. Prednisone has been a serious nightmare for me and I’ll never take it again.

      • bev November 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

        Definitely! Try everything else before harsh meds. It can’t hurt you to try probiotics. I find that people often bail olut too soon with the probiotics. It took a couple weeks for me to start to feel lessening of the UC symptoms.

        Cheers:)

    • Lizzy November 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Hi Bev,
      I’m definitely going to try the same thing your doing with the probiotics ,my only question I wanted to ask you is what mg strength the L-glutamine powder?(brand)
      Thanks Bev,
      Lizzy

      • bev November 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

        Hi Lizzy…

        The L-glutamine powder is fermented and the brand is North Coast Naturals. I mix a scoop (included inside the tub) with juice and drink it everyday. You can take up to 8 scoops per day and sometimes I take 2 or even 4 scoops, depending on how I feel. I have a bit of osteoarthritis, and I just learned that it’s supposed to help with that as well, so I’ve been taking mare than a scoop lately.

        Cheers:)

        • Lizzy November 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

          Thanks Bev ,
          Im going to give this a shot. I just ordered the L.Glutamine from Canada .I have been taking the probiotic you suggested for the past 9 days.I hope this works !!!
          Lizzy :)

          • bev November 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

            You and me both, Lizzy!

            Please give them a chance to work. Don’t bail out too soon. It can take a month. Hang in there.

            I want to hear good news!!

            Cheers,
            Bev:)

    • Lizzy November 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      Hi Bev,
      Is this the regiment that you started with,One probiotic and the fermented l glutamine daily? I will start them together starting tomorrow.Can you tell me more about your healing method.I would like to follow it as close as I can.
      Thank you!,
      Lizzy

      • bev November 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

        Hi Lizzy!

        Yes, basically I take one 50 billion probiotic capsule first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.

        Just before lunch, I take the L-glutamine…every day.

        I also now take 4000 units of vitamin D and a 4mg astaxanthin capsule every day after I eat fat…right after lunch usually. They are better absorbed with fat, apparently. I only mention those two things because they are good for inflammation, as they are natural anti inflammatories.

        The probiotics and L-glutamine worked so fast for me, that I was able to discontinue the asacol that I had been taking for over 13 years. It was actually making the UC worse, but I didn’t knw it! That is my healing method in a nutshell! I wish it would work for everyone…and I’m sure it would, if people would just hang in there until it did. It could take a bit or a lot longer for some people, I think, depending on severity of ‘disease’ (I hate calling UC a disease…I think of it as more of a ‘condition that we have to manage) and even the cause of it. Obviously, I needed probiotics…so I am assuming that perhaps the use of antibiotics in my lifetime, as well as other prescription meds like accutane caused my UC. I have moderate to severe pancolitis…or at least, I did!!

        I hope I’ve helped…

        Cheers:)

        Cheers:)

        • Lizzy November 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

          Bev,
          Thank you for quick response! I am hopeful this works for me as well.Tomorrow is a new day!
          Have a great evening,
          Lizzy

          • bev November 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

            It WILL work, Lizzy! Please give it time, okay?

            Believe it!!

  6. bev November 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Oh…and alcohol…sorry man…you just gotta leave that life behind…

  7. massybird November 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Hi Ragnar. I’ve tried fasting several times during flares and the outcome was not what I expected. I dropped a lot of weight and became even more anemic, needing iron infusions a couple of times. I won’t advise you not to do it as I’ve learned that what doesn’t work for one person might very well work out well for someone else. But if you decide to do it, please be careful. Your body is already in over-drive fighting something, fasting too long will deprive you of the energy you very much need. Best of luck and hang in there!

    • Ragnar
      Ragnar November 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

      Thanks for the input! Im very nervous about fasting but I have heard of some positive results coming out of it. On the other hand in pretty nervous about eating too! Fasting is something I definitely do not want to do! I usually eat a lot of food because I’m very active and require a ton of energy. I feel like this backfires though because I have to deal with passing all the food. I’m definitely eating less because of that but also have less energy.

      • Livia November 2, 2012 at 11:24 am #

        Hey there,
        I have experienced with fasting many times (water fasting and juice fastin) and I would really not recommend you to day a fast for longer that 24 hours unsupervised, as it can be dangerous. I have had very good results with 24 hours fast. If you want to go for longer, I would recommend going to a medically supervised clinic

  8. massybird November 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Yeah, and I echo Bev’s opinion on alcohol. I was doing fantastically well this year no meds, no problems, everything was going well. Then I got over-confident and decided to have a few beers one day in Sept. Still paying for it. It’s just not worth it.

  9. uma November 2, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    Hi, Probiotics helped me a lot. Garden of life Primal defense ultra. I am in remission for the past two and a half year.Eating soft well cooked easily digestible food helps.Like softly cooked white rice, potatoes,bananas ,yogurt, Kefir etc. Fermented foods.Rest your mind and body. This is a very tricky decease. We have to get it into remission and then maintain the remission carefully. I don’t know if homeopathy works at all. I have tried several good homeopaths. If its IBD it helps but not UC. Chinese or tibetan medicine may help. Take care. Have patience. The colon is a very resilient organ and will get back to normal and work normally again. Don’t eat raw foods vegetables ,fruits or nuts while the flare is on.

  10. j November 2, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I have found that the herb, Boswellia, is helpful. It is an anti inflammatory and can be purchased in tablet or capsule form. It has been identified as effective in medical studies for patients with UC.

  11. KK-SCDer November 2, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Ragnar,

    I agree with Adam here. You may have another round of C. diff. SCD cannot do much about that. I find it hard to believe that SCD wouldn’t help someone even a little bit who has been on it faithfully for 8 months unless they have c.diff. I think you can contract C. Diff as a result of SCD, because when the bad bacteria die out good bacteria are supposed to take over through probiotics and stuff, but that doesn’t happen for some people and instead you get c. diff. I don’t know, I may be completely wrong about that last part, but I do know that SCD won’t help if you don’t get treated for c. diff first. Definitely stay on SCD, but get checked for c. diff as well. Best!

  12. naomi November 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Ragnar, first of cool name, anyway I am a nurse and currently going through my second flare this year. Back on Mr. Pred and got switched to Lialda from Azulfidine last week. I feel your frustration about being hungry and depressed :( Im now taking Bio k probiotic and signed up for hot yoga as I have heard it heals many ailments and may help to soothe mind and body. I would definitely add more b12 to diet to help with your energy levels, absorption of nutrients and prevent anemia. I would not do a fast as your body is already deprived. Also i recently tried Kimberly Snyder glowing green smoothie http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2009/07/11/green-smoothie-recipe/ and honestly I noticed increase in energy and surprisingly did not upset my tummy! worth a shot, well good luck and i hope you get to feeling better soon and normal again :)

  13. Justin
    Justin November 7, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Hi Ragnar, im sorry your having a rough time man. I feel you on the depression ive been in the dumps since my diagnosis. Just keep your head up brotha you’ve got a really good attitude. I wouldn’t fast, since your colon is messed up from the uc you’re already not absorbing as much nutrition as you would with a healthy colon. Fasting will make you more malnourished. I personally had no luck with the scd diet. Like bev said probiotics work really well. I found yogurt helped too. I hope you find some relief soon bro!

  14. Mike March 20, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Hey dude,

    I am sorry to hear about what you are goin through. Well I am actually in the same boat as you; I am in Austin Texas and i have uc. Right now the disease is active for me too. Wonder if you would like to meet and have a chat. That may be helpful for you, it definitely will help me.

Leave a Reply