Need Help Gaining Weight Back During This Flare!

Meet Josh:

I’m a 23 year old full time college student diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis on December 24th. Still going through my first flare and what I hope to be my worst.

Some more about me:

I am a huge sports fan and love do be active. Which this disease likes to interfere with.

Current Colitis Symptoms:

-Symptoms are 10-15 bathroom trips a day with extremely watery bloody stools.
-Severe cramps and nausea
-Bloating and loss of appetite

Need Help Gaining Weight Back During This Flare!

Like many people first diagnosed with this rough disease i have what seems like millions of questions that for some reason i can’t get straight answers on through my Doctors. I have been on prednisone for a few weeks and am starting to wing off the drug. It has done great things for me. After two weeks i had little to no blood and what i would call the most “normal” stools i had seen in quite some time. Problem is now that im coming off the prednisone my symptoms are slowly coming back. My flare has really improved since i have started SCD diet. Since i have been in the flare i am in my love life with my girlfriend of 6 years are dropped a bunch. She is great in supporting me through the rough times but even for her sometimes i can tell it is taking her toll not having her loving boyfriend around. Honestly it is very hard sometimes to show my love to her when I’m having these symptoms. I barley have energy to make it though the d ay. Lucky i have a girl who is sticking by my side through it all.

Here is my big concern that i need some answers on. I am a very skinny high metabolism individual. Before the diagnosis I weighed 145 and am 5″11. Already pretty little guy. I have lost 25 pounds and seem stuck at 120. Im eating 2500 calories a day but not doing any physical activity because i do not want to burn the calories I’m trying to take in. Is there any sort of multivitamin or weight gaining supplement that would be ok to try while trying to beat this flare. I feel like if I lose any more weight I am going to be in a lot of trouble. Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you.


Prednisone works great but mainly mask the symptoms.

written by Josh Henderson

submitted in the colitis venting area

9 thoughts on “Need Help Gaining Weight Back During This Flare!”

  1. Hi Josh!

    I’m sorry to hear that! But you’ll get through this. I’m 24 and have had UC for 11 years now, so first off I find it really odd that you’re only on prednisone! It never works by itself and you either have to make a diet switch or go to new drug to truly start seeing results. The reason you’re losing weight (and honestly taking in more calories aren’t going to help necessarily) is because the lining of your intestines is damaged to the point it can’t absorb the nutrients you need. That’s why its sooo important to get out of a flare. Start taking supplements like a standard multivitamin, B12, C, D, calcium, and fish oil. Talk to Bev about probiotics as the’ll help you out as well. Maybe give kids’ supplement drinks a try, something like Pediasure. They’re packed full of nutrients that should help you out and protein to help kids gain weight.

    And talk to your doctor about trying something else besides just prednisone to manage your UC. Also, if you’re not happy with your doctor make a switch, look for doctors actively doing research in IBD, its usually listed under their clinical interests. There are some out there that are really great (and give you straight answers!).

    It takes a sometime to figure everything out but you’ll get there! And we’re all more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

    Wishing you the best!


  2. There is a fine line between putting on weight and consuming foods that could do further damage. Looking into Healthy fats, stuff like Avacado is great for this..

  3. Chris from Massachusetts
    Christopher from Mass

    I second what uc family boy says on the avocados. They helped me get through my first flare. I also just ate a bunch of meat (still do) and this works for me.

    How has the SCD diet been working for you so far?

  4. you’re gonna need something for when the prednisone is done- preferably while you’re taping since you are having symptoms. most people flare after they get off prednisone so it’s good to have a back up medication. did your doctor say how severe your UC is?

    gaining weight is basically impossible when you are flaring. since you are still going poop so much, you could eat 10,000 calories a day and not gain weight. it’s really annoying to stuff your face all the time and see no results. you just have to get the frequency down and the diarrhea under control.

    the main muscle supplement i use is l-glutamine. a lot of body builders use it for tissue repair.

  5. Hi Josh, that sounds so much like my situation when first diagnosed. I dropped from 139lbs to 110 (5″9 female). I got put on salofalk enemas to start with which made me worse, so came off them and went onto pred and nothing else. I thought I was cured! Every time I started tapering I would flare (from maximum dose any reduction at all started a flare). I was on pred for about 8 months.

    On weight gain, I’d suggest staying away from supplements and working with real food. There is a lot of info out there about how our guts are damaged and the problem is with absorbing what we put in. Most supplements don’t have great absorption rate anyway, some as low as 9% of the nutrients marked on the pack.

    Did you start SCD from the intro diet? If not, I’d suggest doing it. Eat masses of stock, the meat and fat from it and eggs. I’m in my first flare since remission in July 2009, and I’m doing the GAPs intro. It’s a bit different from SCD; largely the same foods, but the focus is different. I lost some weight in the first few days (can only eat so much boiled chicken and carrot before gagging!) but I’ve stabilised now, and am easily eating my usual 2300 calorie diet and haven’t finished adding the suggested fats to the diet. I think it would be easy to be doing 4000 calories a day within a few weeks of the diarrhoea stopping (and I agree with joanna that there won’t be any weight gain until that happens).

    The details of the GAPS intro are here:

    Good luck,


  6. Look into Jini Patel “Listen to your gut” book. She is the maker of Absorb Plus shakes you drink while flaring.
    It is a predigested shake that is easy on the colon when flaring and has many many calories. Just add the proper fats. I also do scd. It’s a great supplement shake and tasty…….. In fact, I crave them. Hope they can help you.

  7. Hi Josh,
    So sorry you are struggling with your first flare up -my last one was a few months ago and I kept losing weight. Very scary! SCD diet is the only long term remedy that helps me so the Ensure drinks, etc. aren’t SCD legal and I didn’t want to go off my diet.

    The foods that helped me gain weight back were cheese (on hamburger patties,) butternut squash, avocado. Also eating small portions every hour helps because you aren’t overloading your digestive system.

    This site will be very helpful to you – all of the comments above are right on target. Most of us need another medication in addition to prednisone and tapering too fast will get your flare up going again. Vitamin D also helped me get my energy back – Freeda vitamins are legal from Lucy’s Kitchen or Digestive Wellness and I take 4000- mg. every day. I felt more energy after just a few days of D3 vitamins – before I took D3 I couldn’t even get out of bed with the weight loss and symptoms.

    Your doctor is going to be a life line for you so make sure you have a doctor who you trust with lots of experience in IBD.

    Good luck!!!

  8. I was just diagnosed severe UC 3 weeks ago,I am in and out of the hospital I also drop 24bs.i was 116 lbs bfore and now I’m just 94 lbs and I am 5’4 Asian lady,I don’t know either how can I gain my weight back,I am on prednisone and vancomycin I just had the C diff bacteria which i am on my treatment,after a week I will meet my GI Doctor planning to go to my remicade infusion.

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