First of all the bad news: there is not cure for UC. It's more of a condition than a disease. But you CAN stop flares, bleeding and all symptoms for long periods of time. I'm 31 and had it since 12 and lead a normal life and can eat virtually anything I want most of the time. I usually now go about 3 years without anything. Flares show up only when I get a very bad cold and eat improperly, get some kind of food poisoning or anything that really knocks the average Joe out as my system gets weak and vulnerable (and I probably don't attend to the problem on time). I then control it and life goes on. I think this can be done by anyone but must be careful to come back to "normal" otherwise one can have the UC symptoms non stop.
There are the typical meds doctors will prescribe (often sulfasalazine or a variation). Keep an eye for new ones on the market and ask your doc about it. I personally been helped and decreased the severity of major flares but was not able to heal UC with the heavy duty prescription drugs only. Taking them long term seemed to be less effective each day (sounds familiar?). You need to complement with diet. Today diet is all I use as I try to keep my body healthy during ressession periods (which are longer each time).
I've done tons of research on causes and cure through the years. The bottom line is that docs have no clue why people get this inflamation. But some helpful info is out there. Could simply be excessive bacteria in your intestine which ruins the colon wall. The lining on your colon is much like the lining inside your mouth, very soft. Ours is likely weaker than the one of most people. If damaged it needs to heal and at the same time you can't stop eating food thus stool will continue to pass by the inflamed area, your muscles will contract etc.. So mind what you eat and give your body a chance to heal.
I'm not a doctor but I'll share my experience on how I've controled my mild/medium UC so far:
1) Proper diet (at least during flares):
- Stop having: Milk, cheeses, Orange Juice (or anything acidic), dry leafs (no letuce or salads, they become acid in your colon), spicy foods, garlic, aspirin, advil (iboprofen is anti-inflamatory but may lead to bleeding). Stay away from high fructose (sugars) and high fat foods. Never eat overcooked meats. Use common sense on difficult to digest foods. Stop drinking soft drinks specially Cola's.
- Start having: At least 1 glass of water per meal (never eat anything withou water to avoid hard stool). In fact drink 6 glasses of water per day to stay hidrated. Eat balanced meals with steamed vegetables (never raw). Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in proper amounts (don't skip meals and let your body starve for too long). If you want to have juices such as grape juice, be sure to have it very diluted.
2) Understand your body:
Keep track of foods that make you feel worse, each person is unique and different, so keep this element in mind.
3) *** Myoplex Deluxe meal replacement *** Your body needs quality proteins to heal(building blocks for your tissues) and meats are difficult to digest. So I found Myoplex Deluxe and take it in the mornings. Just 8 oz from the 16 oz mix. It's lactose free, fructose free, no corn syrup etc.. Tons of vitamins including 100% vitamin E. This will bring you closer to the ideal amounts of nutrients and vitamins you may be missing in your regular diet. Once you are used to taking this every morning you may start drinking the second half before going to bed or right after exercise. By then you should be doing some excersise, at least minor, to also apply the protein and promote overal health. Don't kill yourself, just a few minutes walking or some light weight in case you don't do it already. This is my primary recovery formula. All of the fatigue goes away quickly and my body responds well. I keep taking it even after flares (I'm not a breakfast person and Milk/OJ daily may trigger the UC). The shake is expensive even online. But to me is well worthy. You may want to try other ones but study well the ingredients and find something that is easy to digest. Be carefull with too much protein intake too, it can damage your liver.
4) If you can't take vegetables take (very small amounts first at least) of a fiber suplement together with a major meal to keep your stool soft. I don't usually do this so choose carefully. These things can get you bloated and we don't want too much of that.
5) In the past I tried "Primal Defense" by Garden of Life. This stoped flares for me by cleaning and regulating the functions of my intestinal tract. They are geared to help Crohns or UC and have some good points. I heard of several other Probiotics out there that can also help. Take those things in small amounts first with water prior to meals (may want to skip the fiber suplement if you do this instead). In a few days I was feeling better, few weeks I was fully recovered.
6) Basic healthy behavior:
- Get your 8, even 9 hours of sleep every night;
- Do some kind of exercise (light at first);
- Don't smoke or drink heavily;
- Always wash your hands;
- Don't eat old left overs (more than 2 days) from your fridge; Throw old items away before they spoil; You don't want more bacteria in your system while you are trying to get better.
- Keep your kitchen, refrigerator, towels clean.
- Continue to eat balanced meals even after flares are gone and you will stay healthy forever;
- Relax and don't stress out so much about life.
7) Go to a Dentist!
That's right, if you haven't gone see a dentist in a while you need to go now. If you have an inflamation in your gums or any basic easy to fix dental problem this can mess up your entire body, including limiting your ability to heal from UC.
None of this will heal you overnight. But you will start to feel better for sure in a few days. Be patient and stay focus on your diet. Once your are ok you can go back to having some icecream or a slice of pizza, lifting slowly some of the food restrictions so your body can adjust. I hope some of this helps.