Hi, My name is Mindy and I live in Florida. I am a paramedic and a student of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I have been diagnosed with UC for 6 years. I have kept myself symptom free for most of it without the use of medications.
I have no symptoms currently. When I do have flares they come on quickly and advance rapidly to severe bleeding and production of little to no stool.
I suspected I had UC long before I had an initial diagnosis, due to symptoms and a family (Mother) history. I began modifying my diet immediately and probably staved off the disease for many years in that way. Over time with no symptoms, though, I started reverting back to old eating habits, which combined with the stress of Paramedic school led to severe and debilitating symptoms. However the first doc I saw gave me a clean bill of health, and the second diagnosed me with Crohn’s. Finally 3 scopes later and a new doc I had an “official” diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. Prednisone brought it rapidly under control. I had remission with no meds and minor flares intermittently. Then followed a period of time where I experimented with the best diet for myself, and doctor prescribed maintenance drugs – mesalamines. Every drug in that family gives me horrific side effects, including myocarditis with chest pain, pancreatitis, a nd mouth ulcers. After a particularly bad flare that developed after a knee surgery (that prescription meds were not helping and I was told I was heading down the road to Remicade infusions) I turned to a doctor of TCM – traditional Chinese medicine. He prescribed a diet (which was not dissimilar to the SCD), acupuncture and specific chinese herbal formulas. Within 8 treatments I was able to quit medications. These days I use acupuncture periodically for remission. My other methods of control include daily ground psyllium seed (a heaping teaspoon in 10 oz juice and water), NO GLUTEN, minimal grain based carbs (I include brown rice and quinoa occasionally, minimal sugars, I include of yams and sweet potatoes which support immune balance and certain deficiencies according to TCM, consume little to no alcoholic beverages ( I allow myself a glass of wine occasionally), eat lots of fruits and veggies, and do not eat sulfite containing products (which includes all lunch mea ts and most processed foods); I limit dairy consumption to occasional yogurts and occasional high quality cheeses, with absolutely no milk or uncultured dairy products, and I exercise and do Taiji regularly. By the way this diet and lifestyle allows me to maintain a great level of health overall and an ideal weight. By and large I have found Western doctors unreceptive to any form of treatment other than prescribing meds and diagnostic scopes. They should wise up as the future of UC treatment lies in lifestyle modification and alternative therapies, not dangerous and ridiculously expensive drugs. BTW, it is only recently I discovered that alcohol, especially liquor, can create a flare in and of itself. With that discovery, I think I may have eliminated the final trigger of my flares.
Where I’d Like to be in 1 year:
My goal is to never again take another dose of steroids, nor any other prescription medication for UC; not just in one year, but EVER. I believe it is possible!
Colitis Medications I’ve tried:
Prednisone is the only medication that has worked to control a major flare. All of the other mesalamines and that class have caused me maximum side effects with little to no symptom relief. I have permanent ECG changes because of mesalamine use.
written by Mindy